In addition to mediation and collaborative law, the Law Offices of Forrest R. Collins also represents parties in traditional litigation. The fact is that some cases may be better suited for traditional litigation. For example, cases involving domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse or significant mental health issues may be better dealt with by a judge. Some people may decide they simply prefer the litigation process. Since mediation and collaborative practice are based on both parties making a commitment to the process, the dispute will be resolved through traditional representation if one party or both parties is not willing to participate in one of these other processes.
There is another process option known as "cooperative practice." Although cooperative practice sounds similar to collaborative practice, the two are fundamentally different. Cooperative practice is a process where the parties and attorneys actively work together to attempt to resolve the dispute. However, there is no restriction on the ability to resort to court action. Although this seems similar to collaborative practice, there is a real difference because cooperative negotiations can be and often are accompanied by threats of court action. The threat of court action is not a part of collaborative practice. If the cooperative practice fails the parties will move into traditional representation.
Different attorneys approach traditional representation in their own way. Forrest's approach to traditional representation is to proceed cooperatively unless and until the other party or attorney demonstrates an unwillingness to behave cooperatively.