Choices That Are In Between a Nasty Trial and Collaborative Law

Litigation is not necessarily a bad word, and not every case is suitable for collaborative practice. In Ronald Johnston’s traditional family law practice, most cases settle before trial, and full blown trials are comparatively rare. Because of his 37 years experience in family law counseling and litigation, Johnston is adept at analyzing legal matters and forecasting ranges of results.

Johnston also is experienced and well versed in all forms of dispute resolution, including negotiation, mediation, arbitration, judicial settlement conferences, face-to-face settlement conferences, and even settlements on the “court house steps.” Although some cases simply need to be tried aggressively due to the actions or positions of the other party, Johnston believes that almost all cases can be settled. Accordingly, he is attentive to and looks for “roadblocks to settlement.” In the majority of cases that do not settle, settlement fails because a party has unrealistic expectations or because of hurt feelings, insecurity, fear of the unknown, and/or spousal anger.

By identifying these impediments to settlement, Johnston is skilled and adept in channeling client matters into the forum best suited to obtaining a favorable resolution without a nasty court fight. Johnston is known to be “tenacious in settlement.” He is known for his skill in steering a case in mediation through the minefield of emotions to reach a fair settlement that favors his client.

Johnston also has respect of and professional collegiality with many family law lawyers in the area, which allows him make deals to handle discovery and other litigation tasks more cheaply and faster. If the collaborative law model is not right for you (such as when one or both parties do not trust the other party to make good faith and honest full disclosure of assets), consider discussing with Mr. Johnston these other forms of dispute resolution.

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