The article deals with collaborative law. Now, Rice Law clearly don't think much of collaborative law, and they don't mince their words setting out their opinion:
"Collaborative law has certainly not taken hold here in the Fifth and Thirteenth Judicial Districts. Perhaps this is because couples who are facing a divorce are not likely to hire lawyers who are more akin to mental health therapists and advocate that everyone get naked, jump in a pile, eat potluck and sign agreements mutually beneficial to everyone."
The article concludes:
"Perhaps I am old fashioned but I see collaborative law as an oxymoron. Lawyers are trained to do battle for their clients. Certainly, we learn the art of negotiation and seek settlements that are to the benefit of our client (and the children who are the subject of a custody dispute) but collaboration and law simply don't fit together. You might feel really good about it but I don't see how you can be sure you did the right thing."
Somehow, I can't see a family lawyer over here expressing such views, and this wonderful plain-speaking that seems so typically American initially seemed amusing to my 'sophisticated' English tastes. However, putting aside the blunt rhetoric, do they have a point? We do have an adversarial system over here, and everyone is entitled to their day in court, if they want it. As the writer of the article points out: "If the couple is fair minded, we don't need collaborative law to reach settlement .... If they are not fair minded, it is my opinion they are more likely to reach settlement if they have a court date and a lawyer who is prepared to try their case."