MYTH Everything important in the collaborative process happens in the meetings. BUSTED Not everything takes place in the…
A client cannot ask their ex-partner’s lawyer a question in a collaborative meeting.
Collaborative meetings are open and open-spirited. Dialogue and increasing understanding is to be encouraged. Active listening is key. The lawyers are not merely mouthpieces for their client – they are a member of a team, to assist both clients (and not only their client) reach a resolution.
If a client feels they cannot ask a question of their ex-partner’s lawyer, then they are not going to feel like a member of the team.
To fail or refuse to answer a question, simply because it comes from a client who is not yours, risks opening an unfortunate path toward the client feeling rebuffed, foolish, ignored, not listened to, not taken seriously and left with a question that goes unanswered.
Never forget that the collaborative process is a team effort assisting both parties to achieve an end result.