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A satisfying expression for litigants may be “see you in court,” but seasoned attorneys and judges will acknowledge some matters are better resolved before they end up on the docket.

This philosophy underscores a national trend toward alternative dispute resolution, which has largely revolutionized the approach to divorce law, among others. And if a group of 16 Connecticut attorneys has its way, an out-of-court approach will soon become more popular across other fields and practices.

Collaborative Business Dispute Resolution (CBDR) is a “collaborative” practice that recently began work on its first case, a recent release announced.

The group’s process aims to disincentivize taking the matter to court, and to eliminate costly elements such as discovery. It boasts seasoned attorneys, each with 10 or more years in practice, from whom interested parties may choose either online or by phone. A key area that appears ripe for the service is family business dissolution, in which the parties often seek to continue working together and try to avoid becoming arch enemies.

“The concept takes a page from collaborative divorce,” said Bridget Gallagher of Glastonbury’s Brown Paindiris & Scott. Gallagher, one of the founders of CBDR, said she and her colleagues recently noticed attorneys in California banding together to offer similar services.

“There are all sorts of methods of trying to resolve disputes out of court,” she said. “I think the thing people are most familiar with is mediation. The difference here is, there is not a neutral party.”

The mediation process centers around a mediator who will meet with opposing parties at the outset of a case, but will also separate the parties for a period in negotiating an ultimate agreement.

“In collaborative dispute resolution, each party has counsel who is trained in the collaborative process, and all parties participate fully in the discussion,” Gallagher said. “Obviously, there may be times that counsel needs to go outside with clients and speak to them privately, but it is participatory and that’s the major difference.”

In collaborative dispute resolution, participating parties each have an attorney working toward a mutual resolution. The process requires a commitment at the outset that the parties act in good faith to settle the case without filing a lawsuit.

There’s no incentive for failure: The participating lawyers are contractually disqualified from representing their clients in court if the case is not settled. Although parties have the option to litigate if the collaborative process is not successful, having to retain a new lawyer to handle the lawsuit creates a financial incentive for all parties to work toward a fair settlement, according to CBDR’s philosophy.

Information on the collaborative dispute resolution process, with links to attorney bios, can be found online at collabbusinessdispute.com.

Collaborative resolution is “all the rage” for couples getting divorced, Gallagher noted. “We have several lawyers here who are collaboratively trained, and it’s become more than 50 percent of the practice,” she said.

Former Connecticut Superior Court Judge Lynda B. Munro, now a member of the ADR team at Bridgeport-based Pullman & Comley, said her work as a judge gave her an appreciation for collaborative dispute resolution, particularly in the area of family law.

“The vast majority of conflicts in civil matters are resolved outside the courtroom, and what we are looking to do is take that to the next step,” in which parties take an active role and have an incentive to resolve matters amicably. “Business owners can continue in operation together, or perhaps I could see a supplier in conflict with a buyer, and they have to do business in the same community.”

There is no set fee for the use of the collaborative process, but representation requires a fee agreement between the attorney and client, with time generally billed by the hour. Jointly-retained professionals may be shared and paid separately.

Parties agree to an open exchange of relevant information at the outset of the matter, eliminating the sometimes costly discovery process.

Munro said one of the advantages for business owners is the ability to express themselves more freely than they might in a court case, mediation or arbitration. She said the process may be suitable for all kinds of negotiations.

“I went to the folks here in the civil litigation group and said there is this upstart business using the collaborative model,” she said. “The response I got was that we should be offering our clients all opportunities that are available to us to resolve conflicts. We’re saying let’s see if we can gain some traction in Connecticut. I think you will find it will be a welcome model.”

While California has broken new ground in the area of collaborative dispute resolution, Munro said she believes Connecticut is ahead of the curve on law-related issues, and that the culture here is ripe for new ideas.

CBDR attorney Brian T. Henebry of Waterbury’s Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey, agreed.

“I’ve never practiced in California, but I’m hoping Connecticut is fertile ground for applying the collaborative law model to the law in general,” he said. “What I do know about Connecticut is, it’s a small bar, and when you practice in a small bar, you tend to know most of the other attorneys, so that produces sometimes a higher level of collegiality and trust. So I hope that makes Connecticut a more fertile ground for this sort of concept.”

The participants in CBDR’s first case have not been made public, and that’s another aspect of collaborative resolutions that may appeal to individuals and businesses seeking the service, the members say.

“There is flexibility of remedy and there is confidentiality,” Henebry said. “So many parties want confidentiality, and the courts are an open process. I often have to tell clients if a case goes to trial, it’s going to be difficult to get documents sealed.”

And ultimately, organizers have developed a thoughtful incentive to stick with the process. If the two sides in a negotiation fail to reach an acceptable agreement, they must hire new attorneys to take part in any desired action.

The hope is that “See you in court” turns into, simply, “See you later.”

A satisfying expression for litigants may be “see you in court,” but seasoned attorneys and judges will acknowledge some matters are better resolved before they end up on the docket.

This philosophy underscores a national trend toward alternative dispute resolution, which has largely revolutionized the approach to divorce law, among others. And if a group of 16 Connecticut attorneys has its way, an out-of-court approach will soon become more popular across other fields and practices.

Collaborative Business Dispute Resolution (CBDR) is a “collaborative” practice that recently began work on its first case, a recent release announced.

The group’s process aims to disincentivize taking the matter to court, and to eliminate costly elements such as discovery. It boasts seasoned attorneys, each with 10 or more years in practice, from whom interested parties may choose either online or by phone. A key area that appears ripe for the service is family business dissolution, in which the parties often seek to continue working together and try to avoid becoming arch enemies.

“The concept takes a page from collaborative divorce,” said Bridget Gallagher of Glastonbury’s Brown Paindiris & Scott. Gallagher, one of the founders of CBDR, said she and her colleagues recently noticed attorneys in California banding together to offer similar services.

“There are all sorts of methods of trying to resolve disputes out of court,” she said. “I think the thing people are most familiar with is mediation. The difference here is, there is not a neutral party.”

The mediation process centers around a mediator who will meet with opposing parties at the outset of a case, but will also separate the parties for a period in negotiating an ultimate agreement.

“In collaborative dispute resolution, each party has counsel who is trained in the collaborative process, and all parties participate fully in the discussion,” Gallagher said. “Obviously, there may be times that counsel needs to go outside with clients and speak to them privately, but it is participatory and that’s the major difference.”

In collaborative dispute resolution, participating parties each have an attorney working toward a mutual resolution. The process requires a commitment at the outset that the parties act in good faith to settle the case without filing a lawsuit.

There’s no incentive for failure: The participating lawyers are contractually disqualified from representing their clients in court if the case is not settled. Although parties have the option to litigate if the collaborative process is not successful, having to retain a new lawyer to handle the lawsuit creates a financial incentive for all parties to work toward a fair settlement, according to CBDR’s philosophy.

Information on the collaborative dispute resolution process, with links to attorney bios, can be found online at collabbusinessdispute.com.

Collaborative resolution is “all the rage” for couples getting divorced, Gallagher noted. “We have several lawyers here who are collaboratively trained, and it’s become more than 50 percent of the practice,” she said.

Former Connecticut Superior Court Judge Lynda B. Munro, now a member of the ADR team at Bridgeport-based Pullman & Comley , said her work as a judge gave her an appreciation for collaborative dispute resolution, particularly in the area of family law.

“The vast majority of conflicts in civil matters are resolved outside the courtroom, and what we are looking to do is take that to the next step,” in which parties take an active role and have an incentive to resolve matters amicably. “Business owners can continue in operation together, or perhaps I could see a supplier in conflict with a buyer, and they have to do business in the same community.”

There is no set fee for the use of the collaborative process, but representation requires a fee agreement between the attorney and client, with time generally billed by the hour. Jointly-retained professionals may be shared and paid separately.

Parties agree to an open exchange of relevant information at the outset of the matter, eliminating the sometimes costly discovery process.

Munro said one of the advantages for business owners is the ability to express themselves more freely than they might in a court case, mediation or arbitration. She said the process may be suitable for all kinds of negotiations.

“I went to the folks here in the civil litigation group and said there is this upstart business using the collaborative model,” she said. “The response I got was that we should be offering our clients all opportunities that are available to us to resolve conflicts. We’re saying let’s see if we can gain some traction in Connecticut. I think you will find it will be a welcome model.”

While California has broken new ground in the area of collaborative dispute resolution, Munro said she believes Connecticut is ahead of the curve on law-related issues, and that the culture here is ripe for new ideas.

CBDR attorney Brian T. Henebry of Waterbury’s Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey , agreed.

“I’ve never practiced in California, but I’m hoping Connecticut is fertile ground for applying the collaborative law model to the law in general,” he said. “What I do know about Connecticut is, it’s a small bar, and when you practice in a small bar, you tend to know most of the other attorneys, so that produces sometimes a higher level of collegiality and trust. So I hope that makes Connecticut a more fertile ground for this sort of concept.”

The participants in CBDR’s first case have not been made public, and that’s another aspect of collaborative resolutions that may appeal to individuals and businesses seeking the service, the members say.

“There is flexibility of remedy and there is confidentiality,” Henebry said. “So many parties want confidentiality, and the courts are an open process. I often have to tell clients if a case goes to trial, it’s going to be difficult to get documents sealed.”

And ultimately, organizers have developed a thoughtful incentive to stick with the process. If the two sides in a negotiation fail to reach an acceptable agreement, they must hire new attorneys to take part in any desired action.

The hope is that “See you in court” turns into, simply, “See you later.”