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Birmingham Bar Association Bulletin

open and the average total fees for all professionals was $24,185.00. Th e study revealed that the more challenging cases were those that took longer to conclude and that the average total fees in diffi cult cases was $32,588.00. Yes, diffi cult cases are resolved in the collaborative process. While Collaborative Practice IS costlier than pro se mediation or other less cumbersome approaches, for those with complicated legal issues that cannot be resolved in such a forum, the collaborative process is often much cheaper and more expedient than litigation, and it provides a private, confi dential process that focuses on solutions. Even with more professionals at the table, there are a number of traditional costs that are eliminated by the structure of the collaborative process. For example, rather than exchanging written discovery requests, processing responses and dealing with defi - ciencies, the parties commit to produce all documentation required to address the issues in dispute. When needed, valuations are done on a neutral basis without the need for competing experts, and there is no need for depositions, hearings and the myriad other expenses common to contested disputes. Many people facing legal disputes would prefer no court involvement and although they lack the skill on their own, would like to proceed in a less contentious fashion than is often triggered by litigation. For them, there is now another way, even when their issues are complicated, their interpersonal dynamics are challenging, and their futures are uncertain. Collaborative Practice is a recognized approach in Alabama, and Alabama lawyers can ethically collaborate via a limited scope engagement with their clients and adherence to the Alabama Uniform Collaborative Law Act, Alabama Code, Title 6, Section 6-6-26 et seq. If you would like to learn more about Collaborative Practice, please feel free to contact me at Frances@NolanByers.com, or see www. nolanbyers.com; www.collaborativepractice. com and www.birminghamcollaborativealliance. com G Frances Ross Nolan, Contributor Birmingham Bar Bulletin/ Spring 2018 27


Birmingham Bar Association Bulletin
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