As collaborative practice becomes more mainstream, we are handling more high conflict, challenging personalities and intractable legal/financial issues. In order to handle these complex files , we are working in teams of advocates and neutrals and encountering the possibilities and the challenges of neutrality and advocacy.
In this workshop, we explore:
● the importance of each role and how we can capitalize on their strengths without stepping on one another’s toes
● how advocates are necessary to maintain neutrality and how neutrals are essential to allow advocacy in our toughest cases
● the importance of clarifying mandates and expectations at the outset
● vexing questions such as: Should neutrals raise questions that may benefit one side? Can neutrals meet or take instructions from one side? What is the obligation of the neutral when the lawyers are imbalanced? What is the obligation of the lawyers when the neutral loses the perception of neutrality? What if there is no trust between professionals, or between a client and any of the professionals?
● a practical tool for assessing and handling problems as they arise in a case
Through exploring the theoretical framework of advocacy and neutrality, the limitations of high needs clients in complex moments, our shared experience in recent cases, interactive case studies, and group discussion we will all leave this workshop better able to utilize the interplay of advocacy and neutrality in our settlement work.
Boca Raton, Florida
Victoria Smith & Laurie Stein