454 Willow Avenue
Lockport, NY 14094
Current Practice Areas (see Home page and what follows)
1. Matrimonial & Collaborative Divorce (New)
Divorce (Contested and Uncontested)
(New) Collaborative Divorce
Pre and Post Nuptial Agreements
Post Divorce Matters
Orders Of Protection
Child Support and Maintenance
Wage Garnishments and Income Executions
Grandparent's Rights And Third Party Rights
Orders Of Protection (Defending Against & Obtaining)
For more information on Collaborative Law.
Death or Injury
Defective Products and Machinery
Auto Motorcycle, Bicycle and R.V. Accidents
Slip and Fall Injuries
Construction and Farm Accidents
Brain, Head, Neck, Back and Spinal Injuries
Dog Bites and Playground Accidents
Fractured Bones, Burns and Scars
Train, Bus, Plan Accidents
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Failure To Diagnose
Health Care Proxy
Power Of Attorney
Family & Criminal Offenses
Obtaining Orders Of Protection
Defending Against Orders of Protection
Forming & Disolving Business Entities
Social Security Disability
Residential And Commercial
The spouses/parents are encouraged to work honestly, cooperatively and practically to create a settlement that is a "win-win" solution for everyone, a solution that meets their legitimate needs and the needs of their children
What Is Collaborative Law?
Collaborative Law is a cooperative, voluntary conflict resolution process. The essence of the process is the belief that it is in the best interests of the parties and their families to avoid adversarial proceedings, to resolve their differences with minimum conflict and to work together to create shared solutions to the issues. The goal of Collaborative Law is to maximize the settlement options to both parties, to increase the abilities of the parties to communicate in a post-separation relationship and to minimize, if not eliminate, the negative economic, social and emotional consequences to families that have broken down.
By choosing the Collaborative Law process, the parties and their lawyers commit to settling the case without court involvement. The participants agree to devote all of their efforts to achieve a negotiated settlement.
Collaborative Law relies on an atmosphere of honesty, cooperation, integrity and professionalism geared toward the future well-being of the family members.
Collaborative Law utilizes informal discussions and joint conferences to settle the outstanding issues.
Collaborative Law requires each party to identify their actual needs and true interests in resolving their concerns. Where such interests differ, all participants use their best efforts to create proposals that meet the fundamental needs of both parties in order to reach a settlement of all issues.
How Does Collaborative Law Work?
In the court system, parties are presumed to be on opposite sides. Once spouses become plaintiffs and defendants, the parties too often see their litigation as a battle to be waged with a winner and a looser. Because of the adversarial nature of court, litigants can lose sight of the reality that most family members, even as they are reorganizing their lives through separation and divorce, have common goals:
Approximately 95% of matrimonial cases settle without a trial. With court , the parties are set up as opponents from the beginning. The language is combative: “custody battles,” “the opposition,” and taking “hard-line positions.” In the court system, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, make hurtful claims against one another. They give very personal and private details to their attorneys and to the court.
In the adversarial system, attorneys are required to zealously advocate for their clients and their positions. This may result in losing sight of what will be left, both emotionally and financially, once the divorce comes to a litigated conclusion. Parties are locked into adversarial roles in litigation, resulting in the loss of ability to communicate and cooperate. When the court case is over, the litigants have not learned to respect one another or work together. They have chosen, instead, to disparage one another and fight.
The collaborative attorneys help the parties face distress over the breakup of their relationship appropriately, identify real interests and remember the need of children to be kept our of the middle. The attorneys advocate for their clients, advising them of their legal rights. Attorneys and parties insulate the children as much as possible from the adult issues so that the effect of the separation/divorce is minimized for the children.
The Goals Of The Collaborative Law Attorneys Are:
Benefits Of The Collaborative Approach:
For Whom Is Collaborative Law A Good Idea?
Not every attorney will want or be able to practice collaborative law. Not every client will be willing to give up the adversarial contest. For many attorneys, however, their trial court experience has led to a belief that the commitment of their skill and time to a litigated case often does not achieve an outcome which is cost effective or even a good solution for their clients’ problems. Similarly, many clients are looking for experienced legal counsel, knowledgeable guidance and skilled advocacy, but do not want litigation. For these attorneys and for these clients, Collaborative Law is an excellent option.
Is Collaborative Law For You?
Issues Concerning Children
In resolving issues about sharing the enjoyment of and responsibility for children, the participants make every effort to reach amicable solutions that put the children’s best interests first. The participants agree to act quickly to resolve differences related to the children ad to promote a caring, loving and involved relationship between the children and both parents. They agree to insulate the children from the dispute by refraining from making any negative comments about the other parent and maintaining an attitude of respect and cooperation toward the other.
Negotiations in Good Faith
The process, even with full and honest disclosure, involves vigorous good-faith negotiation by each party. Parties use their best efforts to create proposals that meet the fundamental needs of family members. Although the likely outcome of a litigated result may be discussed, none of the participants will use threats of going to court as a way to force capitulation and settlement by the other.
Termination of Collaborative Law Process
Either party may terminate the Collaborative Law process for any reason by giving written notice of termination to the other participants. The decision to take a court action automatically terminates the Collaborative Law process and the involvement of your lawyers, such that you will have to start from scratch.
Start Your Collaborative Process Now:
Speak to your spouse about Collaborative Law for divorce or family court matters, and share the information contained on this Web page.
Speak to your lawyer about choosing the Collaborative Law approach.