Recommended Reading: Prescription for Sanity In Resolving Business Disputes: Civil Collaborative Practice in a Business Restructuring Case.
This article, linked below, describes the use of the collaborative resolution process in the case of a four-owner subchapter S corporation that, after a successful five-year run, needed realignment when three of the shareholders wanted a split from the fourth (citing not lack of competence or acumen but “irreconcilable differences” ). The parties had heard horror stories about businesses going bankrupt from lawyer fees in the process of trying to restructure a partnership, so they decided to give the collaborative process a try. In the end, the legal fees and time elapsed to resolution were a fraction of what a typical litigation case would have consumed. In this article , the two lawyers describe the case and the process of working through the many issues using the defined collaborative process. One of the shareholders described the experience this way:
“Our experience with CL was a very pleasant surprise; I would recommend it as a first step to dispute resolution. It worked for us because we were committed to the CL process. Our attorneys acted as facilitators to keep the process moving and to iron out the differences among the parties. The process was almost painless, even with a few bumps along the away. In the end, all of us walked away from the process feeling like everyone was treated fairly and all parties were satisfied with the outcome. CL also preserved the company’s capital, so we could build two strong companies from the one we all started.”
The inexpert-looking handwriting in the margins of the article is mine. I inserted these to help the reader identify the pieces describing the collaborative process itself. Enjoy reading how the lawyers and parties applied the CL principles and process to the complexities of the case.
~ Ruth Rickard
NOTE: To read the whole article, poise the cursor inside the article and use the page-down function at the bottom of the 8 ½ X 11 image.annotated-Prescription-for-Sanity-in-Resolving-Business-Disputes-by-Faxon-Zeytoonian