Attorneys are typically trained to approach cases with the underlying assumption that a court will make the ultimate decision. Cases are analyzed with this foundation and are settled with the backdrop being "what will happen if we go to court." "Going to court" can often become a weapon or threat that derails communication rather than moving the clients closer to settlement. Since settlement has not been the focus from the very beginning, cases often do not settle until the clients are "at the courthouse steps," after incurring substantial attorney's fees and depleting their emotional resources.
The agreement by both the clients and Collaborative attorneys that the Collaborative attorney will not go to court focuses everyone on creative means of settling the case in a way that is acceptable to all clients. The focus of the process stays on reaching an agreement rather than preparing a case for trial since the Collaborative attorneys will not be representing the clients in court. The tendency to "drift" to court as the default decision-making method is reduced.