Connect with us

Finance

Make Cheap International Calls to Anywhere Around the Globe

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

Do you want to make cheap international calls to your loved ones? Well, if your loved ones live abroad, you would likely talk to them. But the thought of insanely high phone bills and expensive calls may stop you from making those conversations longer.

But the fact is that you don’t need to burn a hole in your pocket to connect with your loved ones in Paraguay. So here are a few tips you can use to make an almost free best call to Paraguay.

Tips for Making Cheap or Free International Calls

1. Make Free Online Calls Using Apps

One of the best ways to make international calls free of charge is by using calling apps. Apps that allow you to make audio and video calls are the easiest ways of calling your loved ones abroad. You don’t need to think about the duration of the calls and neither the frequency. The only thing that you would require is a stable internet connection. And also, the call will be possible if you both are using the same app. If there’s a lack of internet connection or equipment on one side, you still have an option to call from the app to mobile phones or landlines. But for that, you need to buy store credits.

There are apps like –

  1. Skype
  2. Telegram
  3. Whatsapp
  4. Facetime
  5. Google Duo
  6. Viber
  7. Facebook Messenger

2. Paid Call Providers

There are private call providers also that you can go for. They provide you with cheap call options that are better than making direct international calls.

One of those providers is mstvoice.com. It is one of those places where you can get the best deals for making long-distance calls to Portugal, Paraguay, and anywhere else. Here are the features of mstvoice.com-

  1. No Hidden Charges:- The best part is that you only pay for the amount of time that you talk. Apart from that, there aren’t any hidden charges or fees.
  2. Rounding of 1 Minute:- Also, you get charged to make calls by rounding of 1 minute. So, you have to pay on that basis only.
  3. Calls with No Expiration Date:- The voice credit that you purchase never expires. So, you can use those credits whenever you want to.
  4. Quality Calls Every Time:- You don’t need to worry about choppy phone calls with disturbance. The latest telecom technologies guarantee the best quality of the calls you make to your loved ones.

All you need to do is to go to the website of mstvoice.com. Then get the ‘smart pack’ for the country where you want to make the call. Enter the amount for the credit that you want to buy.

For mobile phone calls, you get charged $0.009/min. So you get 556 minutes for $5. For SMS, you pay $0.0070/SMS. So, you get 714 SMS for $5.

There are other subscription options also that include Global Unlimited calling for $40/ month. There is also a ‘family unlimited’ subscription where you get an unlimited calls package to Portugal, Paraguay, or other international places for $10.

Advertisement

Finance

Relationship Withdrawal – Why You Feel Like You’re Going to Die

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

You have just broken up with your boyfriend/girlfriend and you can’t eat, sleep, feel panicky, disoriented, can’t focus at work and feel like you’re going to die. Maybe you feel nauseous, have headaches, feel depressed, can’t function at home or at work, have cravings for the person, have thoughts of suicide, feel shaky, forgetful, or a host of other symptoms that make you feel horrible.

Welcome to relationship withdrawal. Yes, the symptoms you are feeling are the same symptoms a drug or alcohol or any other addicted person feels when their “substance” is removed from their lives.

How can this be so? And why is it so intense?

I have written several articles on the effects dopamine has on the brain. Dopamine is the “feel good” transmitter that our brain produces in response to something that triggers it. The trigger can be positive: exercise, falling in love, being surprised with some wonderful gift from a loved one; and it can also be triggered by something negative: spousal abuse, an unexpected response or event, drug/alcohol abuse.

The bottom line is this: Our brains like dopamine and they don’t care what we have to do to supply it to them, as long as they get their “fix.”

When we find ourselves out of a relationship with someone, it does not really matter to the brain whether it was a healthy or destructive situation. As long as the brain was getting its dopamine needs met, it felt okay. But once that supply is gone from our lives, the brain gets cranky and starts to flood us with all sorts of physical and psychological symptoms. Sometimes these symptoms are so bad, that we will voluntarily return to whatever the supply was that we left, including horrible and painful relationships, just to get that dopamine level met and thereby quiet and quell the dreadful withdrawal. This is one of the reasons some people can’t leave a bad relationship. It is also the reason we feel like we are dying when we get dumped from what we thought was a good relationship. It is like being on a treadmill running 5 miles an hour for a long period of time and then suddenly the treadmill is turned off. We are still in motion, even though the treadmill is no longer running us. Instead of the euphoric dopamine production, we crash and burn in a dysphoric state.

The brain knows there are many ways for us to get our dopamine “kicks.” But as creatures of habit, we will seek the same thing over and over until it destroys us; or we may instead switch addictions and leave the drama filled relationship and do other things to get our dopamine needs met. With each bout of addiction comes the need to up the ante because the brain will need more and more as it gets accustomed to the ever increasing levels of dopamine. The pattern becomes a disease of the brain which is constantly talking to us and telling us to feed it more and more. This explains why people literally feel as if they are going into withdrawal when they get out of a relationship. The brain is begging for a fix.

Anyone who has ever been through drug or alcohol rehab knows that it takes time to go through the withdrawal. Time has an elegant and eloquent way of calming us down if we allow it to. If you or someone you know is going through relationship withdrawal, share this information with them. Be as supportive as you can and if you are going through it yourself, don’t isolate. Isolation will magnify the symptoms and prolong the recovery. Get active and stay busy in something positive. Start to walk, jog, volunteer to work with animals, work out at the gym or take a class so that the dopamine levels in your brain can be positively activated. And do this every day whether you want to or not. If you wait for your feelings to catch up with you, you will never get there! Get a notebook and journal about your feelings each day, then put the notebook away and get proactive doing something positive for yourself. Allow yourself only 5 minutes twice a day to cry over it and then get on with your life in between the crying spells. Seriously, schedule and time out your crying spells. Then get on with it. Learn from the relationship and make a solid plan for what you will do, won’t do, will allow, won’t allow the next time you are in a relationship. Know that in time, you will look back on your stint in withdrawal and it will be over…for good.

Continue Reading

Finance

Internet Speed: How Fast Is the Internet Across the Globe

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

The Internet has grown exponentially in the last years. More and more people are now connected and have access to the internet. Considering that people now rely on the internet to perform their daily tasks and even interact with their peers, it is now a must to have Internet access wherever you go.

But not all places have the same Internet speed. The internet speed differs in many areas because of a lot of factors. It can be the infrastructure of the service provider or even how you set it up in your home.

You would think that the US has the fastest Internet Connection on the globe as it is considered a first world country and has the means to create a better infrastructure for this. However, the country with the fastest connection is found on the other side of the globe, South Korea. Having a speed of 39.41mbps, it is considered as the country with the highest internet speed. And they are still on the quest for more!

Here is the list of the countries with the fastest Internet speed in the world.

1. South Korea

Apart from having the fastest speed, the country holds the most wifi spots. If you always want to stay connected, then South Korea might be the best country to live in.

2. Latvia

The main users of internet in Latvia are from ages 16-24. Given that number, you can easily assess that most users are the millennials and are always using social networking sites and other modern apps.

3. Lithuania

They have fast internet, that’s a given. However, the recent study shows that a lot of internet users in Lithuania are experiencing security problems last year.

4. Aland Islands

Not only a place worth to visit because of its great landscape, it’s a perfect spot if you are looking for a speedy internet connection.

5. Romania

This might come as a surprise but Romania is a hot spot for companies that would like to set up their web host. Thanks to the fast internet speed for that.

If you are still interested to know some of the countries that have the fastest internet speed, then you can find them here. At least you will know what to expect if you are about to visit these places.

(Netherlands, Republic of Moldova, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Japan, Belgium, Switzerland, Andorra, Singapore, Bulgaria, Germany, Estonia, Denmark, Hungary, Ukraine, France, Luxembourg, Norway, Finland)

Internet speed in these countries is between 13 mbps to 39 mbps. It just shows that the internet speed does not depend on the economic status of the country. Every year, the speed increases roughly around 10% which just shows the hunger for speed of the global users. With the fast-paced lifestyle we have now, the internet would also need to keep up. Do you think it will?

Continue Reading

Finance

Mobile Document Shredding Services – 10 Good Reasons to Hire a Professional Paper Shredder

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

Thanks to new laws passed by the government, creating a document shredding plan has become a part of doing business. This is to keep non-public information handled by businesses and organizations secure and to prevent identity theft. However, some companies still shred paper themselves. In this article we’ll look at 10 good reasons why it is a good idea to hire a mobile document shredding company to handle this work for you.

  1. Ease of Use – Mobile shredding companies provide clients with secure locking containers. When sensitive materials need to be disposed of, they can simply be dropped in the locked console, rather than having to shred them individually. Forget removing staples, paper-clips or bindings…With high volume capabilities, you can toss huge folders of paper work into shredding trucks and they are shredded beyond recognition in seconds!
  2. Cost Efficiency – Shredding trucks shred paper faster and have much more capacity than any regular in-house shredding machine can provide. If you were to assign an employee to do this task, it would cost your company more than hiring a shredding company. It is even more cost effective than having a minimum wage employee do the shredding, let alone someone who gets paid good wages. Why waste the time of talented employees by making them stand over a shredding machine? Also, shredding machines are not cheap, and can require repairs if used a lot.
  3. The FTC Safeguards Rule of the GLB Act mandates that private data be monitored for destruction.

    Most mobile shredding services have observation screens where you can watch the papers being shredded. You are also provided with a certificate of destruction. Other services, such as recyclers can easily lose your papers on the way to the recycling plant. They pay little attention to the security of your data. Why increase your legal exposure and risk huge fines for improperly disposing of private data?

  4. It’s An Ethical Business Practice.

    Do you really want papers your customers’ or clients’ non-public information blowing in the wind? Think of how bad you would feel if your customer data was stolen because you were too lazy to take simple precautions…Not to mention the huge PR damage your business could take.

  5. With A Shredding Service, You Get Major Help From Pros

    Let’s face it…Compliance with all of the various shredding laws is not always simple. There are many laws and it can be hard to decipher all of the various sources of information. When you hire a shredding company, you get years of experience behind you.

  6. The Environment.

    It’s good to know shredded paper is baled and ends up in paper products like those coarse paper towels you wipe your hands with in public bathrooms. Many shredding companies sell the the bits of paper to paper mills and it is recycled into new paper products.

  7. Better Than ‘Off-Site’ Destruction

    On-site shredding is way more secure. You can actually see the paper being shredded first hand before it leaves your property. By having it done on-site, you eliminate all of the possible risks of exposing your data in it’s complete form after it leaves your premises.

  8. Self Interest & Competitive Advantage

    Many business secrets have been lost to improper handling of important information. Keep your competitive advantage by keeping your data private! Corporate dumpster divers have cost companies millions. With a secure mobile shredding service, you can eliminate (or minimize) risk of competitors and make more money.

  9. Organization

    By organizing your papers and creating a shredding schedule, your home or business can become more efficient. Shredding papers saves tons of storage space and frees up room for more important office equipment.

  10. Peace of mind – Without the proper safeguards, information ends up in the dumpster where it is readily, and legally, available to anybody.

To learn more about how to choose a shredding service and to find a company near you, visit The Document Shredding Directory today.

Continue Reading

Finance

How To Find A Good Social Security Disability Lawyer

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

Man is a social animal. He cannot do away with his society completely and live an isolated life. He may need the help of his society at some point of time or the other. Keeping this in mind you need to pay for the social security all your life, so that if you are disabled or unable to earn your living at a later stage in life, you will be able to enjoy the benefits of social security disability insurance. However, claiming social security disability insurance is not an easy job and requires professional help.

Here are some of the ways to find a good social security disability lawyer:

Ask your friends and family. You can also talk to your relatives and neighbors. They are always a good source of information. Being your well wishers, they will never try to mislead you. Hence you can get the best kind of feedback from them. If you are lucky, you will find out that one of them may have come across such an expert, and can provide you with all the necessary details about him.

Another method which you can easily adopt is to look for your service provider on the net. The Internet is one of the best ways to find out what you need. Browse through the official websites of law firms that provide the services you require. You should carefully read all the information that is given about them on their websites. This will give you a clear idea about the law firm, and help you decide whether you should hire their services or not. Check to see if the service providers have testimonials written by satisfied customers. This is a good way of finding out what the customers, who have already opted for their services, feel about them. Moreover, it is advisable that you choose such a law firm which has efficient lawyers, offering their services to clients for a long time. Experience is an important factor that matters a lot while taking such important decisions. Lawyers who are well experienced in taking care of social security disability cases for a long time, will be in a better position to be able to help you get the best benefits possible.

Another effective way to find out the best professional of your choice is by talking to other lawyers. You may be knowing another lawyer who offers some other kind of services. However, being in the same profession he will easily be able to give you a referral of a reputed lawyer who can help the client make a claim for social security disability insurance. You can then easily fix an appointment with him and check whether he will be able to serve your purpose well.

If you are in need of a lawyer who can help you get the benefits of insurance policies related to social security disability, Martinsburg WV is the best place to start your search.

Continue Reading

Finance

Collaborative Divorce or Cooperative Divorce?

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

Introduction

“Collaborative divorce” is the new buzz word in family law practice. Its proponents enthuse about better and less costly settlements, greater client satisfaction, fewer accounts receivable, and less stress in the practice of law, than they can achieve through a conventional approach to family law disputes. How realistic are these claims? What are the down sides of “collaborative divorce”? Does the concept of “collaborative divorce” present ethical pitfalls and possible malpractice minefields for the unwary practitioner?

Lawyers who participate in the “collaborative divorce” movement use methods borrowed from more established alternative dispute resolution procedures to resolve family law disputes without litigation. However, unlike more accepted dispute resolution procedures, in “collaborative divorce” the lawyers and their clients agree that they will not engage in formal discovery, will voluntarily disclose information, and will settle the case without court intervention of any kind . They assume a duty to inform the attorney for the other party of errors they note in opposing counsel’s legal analysis or understanding of the facts. If they are unable to settle the case, both lawyers must withdraw from representing their respective clients and the estranged spouses must start over with new counsel.

Good Lawyers Routinely Practice Cooperatively

Even the most enthusiastic supporters of “collaborative divorce” concede that the concept of settling cases rather than litigating them is hardly novel. Capable family law practitioners have always directed their effort and creativity toward reaching agreement rather than duking it out in court. It isn’t news to anyone that litigation is expensive – sometimes prohibitively so – and that the most satisfactory settlements derive from skilled negotiation between capable counsel rather than a court-imposed resolution of disputed issues. How does the idea of “collaborative divorce” differ from what experienced practitioners do as a matter of course?

Courtesy. The commitment of lawyers and parties to treat each other courteously is not a new one. Capable attorneys consistently endeavor to work cooperatively with opposing counsel to identify and value assets, set and meet scheduling deadlines, and otherwise facilitate resolution of the case. They respect legitimate positions taken by the other party and encourage their clients to be realistic and respectful as well. They are willing and able to compromise, and they are creative in crafting acceptable resolutions of disputed issues. “Collaborative divorce” supporters intimate that their process is unique because lawyers commit that they will not “threaten, insult, intimidate, or demonize” other participants in the divorce process. Good lawyers don’t do that now. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, which historically has provided a model for good practice nationally, has promulgated “Bounds of Advocacy” that set a high standard for professional courtesy and cooperation.

Emotional cost. “Collaborative divorce” proponents say their process is designed for parties who don’t want to go to war and who don’t want “to hate each other for the rest of their lives.” This description fits the vast majority of family law clients, including most of those whose cases end up in court. Clients almost always care about the emotional cost of adversary proceedings, and about the impact of the divorce action on their children and other family members. To suggest that people who really care will give up the protections provided by court oversight is to do a vast disservice to most of our clients.

Financial cost. “Collaborative divorce” supporters want to reduce the costs of the process by streamlining the discovery process. This also is not a new idea. Good lawyers have always sought to keep formal discovery to a minimum, to share costs of appraisals, to stipulate to values, and to cooperate in other ways to keep costs down. Many experienced practitioners routinely utilize mutually agreed upon short-form interrogatories, four-way meetings, joint telephone or in person conferences with experts, and other such collegial arrangements.

As the above analysis indicates, the goals espoused by “collaborative divorce” lawyers do not differ in degree or in kind from the goal of the vast majority of the family law bar. Most lawyers try a cooperative approach first. Most lawyers agree – and most of their clients concur – that resolution of issues by settlement is preferable to litigation. And in most cases, lawyers and their clients resolve disputed issues by agreement and do not resort to the courts.

The Limits of Collaboration

Despite the most concerted efforts of capable counsel, we all know that not all cases settle, and those that do settle sometimes don’t settle easily. All of us have encountered the frustration of the last-minute, courthouse steps agreement, after completion of all the work and stress of trial preparation. Why is it that some cases don’t settle until the very last minute, and some cases don’t settle at all?

Unsettled Legal Issues. Legitimate reasons to resort to litigation are not always evident at the beginning of a case. Much appellate work involves issues the existence of which – or at least the seriousness of which – did not surface until significant discovery and negotiation had occurred. Where the law is unsettled or where counsel genuinely disagree about the appropriate interpretation and application of the law to the facts of their case, it is not only reasonable but necessary to ask the judge to intervene. Cooperative counsel can reduce the complexity and expense of litigation by limiting contested issues, stipulating facts where possible, agreeing in advance to the admission of exhibits, declining to engage in delaying tactics, and other behavior that is both practical and considerate. Lawyers can commit themselves to conduct the proceedings without animosity and can counsel their clients to be courteous to the other side. But the court has the last word on interpreting and applying the law.

Reality Testing. All clients say they want a “fair” result and many of them genuinely mean it. But they may have a very self-absorbed definition of “fair.” Many years ago Leonard Loeb, whose wisdom and example have greatly influenced the development of a civilized standard of practice for family law attorneys, pointed out an important truth: “Sometimes the hardest negotiation you have to engage in is the one with your own client.” A client who simply cannot see the broader picture despite counsel’s best efforts may require the reality therapy of a temporary order hearing, or a pretrial with the judge, or a deadline for responding to formal discovery, in order to be capable of backing down from an unreasonable stance so settlement negotiations can proceed.

Scheduling Orders. We have all represented a left-behind spouse who does everything possible to avoid or at least delay the divorce, or a party who is preoccupied with business affairs or other family problems and just can’t get around to dealing with the work and decision-making implicit in the divorce process. If one party would prefer that the marriage continue, or if completing the action is not a priority, the court may need to facilitate progress in the case by issuing a scheduling order and setting deadlines. Counsel can cooperate by being reasonable and courteous in setting initial deadlines and in agreeing to extensions where necessary. The process need not be – and usually is not – antagonistic.

Financial Disclosure. A client may, deliberately or inadvertently, fail to disclose assets without the rigorous attention to financial detail that formal discovery entails. Surely we have all had the experience of finding forgotten assets when a client produces the records necessary to back up his or her interrogatory answers. In other circumstances, the client and/or counsel may need the assurance of due diligence in discovery in order to be comfortable with a proposed settlement, especially where the estate is complex or the assets are substantial.

Stability. Then there is the personal factor: divorce presents a significant life crisis for most of our clients, and we see them at their most vulnerable and most needy. The commencement of a divorce action is often accompanied by anxiety, guilt, an danger, and may throw a family into chaos. If one party’s antagonism toward the other is so overreaching that he or she is unable to proceed rationally and courteously, interim court orders may be the only way to achieve a level of stability that permits collaborative discussion of the long-term issues presented by the case.

In each of the above situations, the legal system provides structure and finality, and often sets the stage for the ultimate negotiated resolution of the matter. Court processes, rather than being an impediment to settlement, often facilitate it.

The Effectiveness of a “Collaborative Divorce” Approach

Do “collaborative divorce” techniques provide an effective response to the above limitations? Unfortunately, they do not.

Reality Testing. A client whose sense of “fair” is out of kilter with that of the other party and the lawyers will defeat the collaborative process, and both sides will have to incur the expense and delay of starting over with new counsel. Reality testing through a temporary order hearing or a pretrial with the judge is not an option in “collaborative divorce.” The lawyer representing a difficult client must either advocate for the client’s unreasonable position or take a public position adverse to the client’s view. An attorney cannot ethically make either of these choices, The first is at least arguably frivolous; the second violates the requirement that we advocate diligently for our clients. Proponents of “collaborative divorce” have not provided a solution to this ethical dilemma.

Delay, Expense, and New Counsel. A client who wants to stall progress in a “collaborative divorce” can do so indefinitely, until the court threatens to dismiss the action and the party wishing to proceed must then retain new counsel to request a pretrial. Again, both sides incur the expense and delay of bringing a new attorney up to speed. The attorneys who know the facts and have established rapport with their clients cannot continue to be involved. How can this result benefit anyone?

Diligence. Lack of due diligence in discovery may subject the attorney to a malpractice claim [see Helmbrecht v. St. Paul Ins. Co., 122 Wis.2d 94, 362 N.W. 2d 118 (1985)], may violate the ethical requirement of diligent representation, and may make the client uneasy about signing on the dotted line. In complex cases and cases in which there is a disparity in the spouses’ respective familiarity with or involvement in financial affairs, the security of formal discovery is not available to help resolve “collaborative divorces.”

Timely and Efficient Court Intervention. If there is sufficient antagonism that experienced counsel are unable to negotiate an agreement, or if one party refuses to comply with an agreement, court intervention is necessary. Under the “collaborative divorce” approach, both lawyers must withdraw just at the time that an attorney who knows the case is most effective.

Malpractice Issues

In collaborative divorce, the parties and their respective lawyers sign a single contract, at least arguably creating obligations of each lawyer to the other attorney as well as to both clients. The collaborative law contract puts each lawyer in privity with both parties and with opposing counsel, creating a basis for contract claims to which an attorney is not exposed in standard practice. Moreover, the collaborative divorce contract assumes, though it does not specifically state, that each client completely waives his/her attorney’s obligations to maintain client confidentiality and not to inform the other party or lawyer of his/her legal, factual, or strategic errors. Yet, the contractual commitments required for “collaborative divorce” eliminate these obligations and substitute in their place obligations to disclose and to inform that are at least theoretically actionable either as contract claims or negligence (malpractice) claims.

Assume that Attorneys A and B and their clients have agreed to proceed with a “collaborative divorce.” Attorney A makes a mistake that disadvantages client A and benefits client B. If Attorney B fails (deliberately or negligently) to correct the error, can client A sue Attorney B for malpractice? If Attorney B corrects the error, to his/her own client’s detriment, can Client B sue Attorney B for malpractice? Does the existence of a “collaborative divorce” contract provide a defense to malpractice? Does it increase malpractice exposure by permitting each party to sue both lawyers?

If, unknown to Attorney A, Client A fails to provide full financial disclosure and thus disadvantages Client B, can Client B sue Attorney A for malpractice? Can Client B sue Attorney B for failing to take steps to discover the omission? Can Client A sue either or both of the attorneys for malpractice if the nondisclosure was inadvertent and would have been discovered through standard formal discovery, and if the effect of the error is that the judgment is vacated and litigated with new counsel with Client A held liable for Client B’s additional costs?

If Attorney A fails to spot an issue that would likely be resolved in Client A’s favor, does Attorney B have a duty to raise the issue? If Attorney B fails to do so, can Client A sue Attorney B for malpractice? If Attorney B raises the issue, can Client B sue Attorney B for malpractice?

Have you notified your insurance carrier? How will you pay for breach of contract litigation and possible judgments against you that your malpractice insurance does not cover?

“Collaborative Divorce” May Increase the Cost of Divorce

“Collaborative divorce” is marketed as a cost-saver for clients, but is it really? We all know that settlement is less costly than litigation. The issue is not whether “collaborative divorce” is less expensive than litigation, but whether it permits participants to spend less than they would if they employed more conventional settlement approaches. Most lawyers try informal discovery first and proceed to interrogatories or requests for document production or depositions only where informal attempts have failed or where the information provided is suspect. Most lawyers schedule contested trials only after repeated attempts to arrive at negotiated settlements. Most lawyers genuinely believe that better and more creative settlements can be achieved through negotiation and creative planning rather than through a court-imposed resolution. Virtually no good lawyer chooses litigation as the first and best option.

In a conventional divorce, the lawyer who has worked up the case, who knows the client and the facts, and who understands the interpersonal dynamics of the case, can use this knowledge base to proceed if necessary to a litigated conclusion. In “collaborative divorce,” if negotiations fail the clients have to begin again with new counsel and pay a new lawyer to learn the complexities of the case. If the clients have a relatively simple financial situation, they probably can’t afford to pay twice. If they have a complex situation, the time and expense necessary to duplicate or recreate the financial analysis and valuations will likely be outrageously high. In some cases, clients may save some money, though there is no evidence that “collaborative divorce” is less costly or less time-consuming than any cooperative settlement approach. In other cases, however, overall costs will skyrocket, and the time it takes to complete the process will be significantly extended because of the duplication of effort entailed by substitution of counsel. And while “collaborative divorce” proponents suggest that its practitioners will have fewer uncollected accounts, one may reasonably question whether clients who are forced to change lawyers will fully pay both sets of counsel.

Is “Collaborative Divorce” a Better Process?

Advocates of “collaborative divorce” say that clients are motivated to learn problem-solving strategies because there are no “court threats.” In some cases that may be true. Experienced attorneys know, however, that with many clients it is precisely the ability to schedule court dates and set deadlines that provides the impetus for settlement. Cases often settle only when delay is no longer possible and the time for gamesmanship is over. We’ve all had the experience – probably on both sides – of dealing with a client or opposing party who stubbornly sticks to a position until trial is imminent. Clients who employ more efficient problem-solving strategies do so in most cases because they understand that they will get the best results that way, and a contested trial date need not be scheduled in order to negotiate a settlement. There are no “court threats” because they are able to resolve their differences without the looming specter of a contested divorce. Moreover, where the bargaining positions of the respective clients are unequal – one is more financially experienced, or more legally knowledgeable, or simply more intimidating – the reality of “what the judge will likely do if we go to court” may be crucial to a fair settlement.

“Collaborative divorce” supporters also claim that clients are “more satisfied” with the results achieved with the collaborative approach. It’s not news that clients are more amenable to and more willing to comply with the terms of an agreed settlement than one that is court imposed. But what is the evidence that clients are “more satisfied” with a collaborative settlement than with a settlement reached through conventional cooperation and negotiation?

“Collaborative divorce” proponents contend that the process offers a way to practice law that is “more positive, more challenging, more rewarding, and more fun” than conventional practice. This is simply not the case for those of us who have historically settled most of our cases creatively, without having to give up the option to litigate if negotiations break down, or to dodge ethical issues, or to assume additional malpractice exposure..

Cooperative Divorce

The attorneys who are spearheading the “collaborative divorce” movement have adopted this idea with the best of intentions. They are looking in good faith for a more humane and less stressful way to deal with the sturm und drang of marital dissolution. They are legitimately frustrated with the waste of time and duplication of effort that goes into simultaneous settlement negotiations and trial preparation. They want to make a hard time easier for their clients and for themselves.

We can work toward these goals without running afoul of ethical rules, increasing malpractice exposure, and refusing to use the available resources of the court system appropriately to facilitate negotiated settlements wherever possible. Let’s call it “cooperative divorce.”

The “cooperative divorce” practitioner would:

Respect all parties and counsel and treat all participants courteously.

Respond promptly and in a straight-forward way to requests – both formal and informal – for information. (No paper bags full of unsorted documents, receipts, and junk mail in response to a request for production of documents; if you need an extension of time, explain why and ask for it rather than leave the opposing attorney to guess when he or she will hear from you, etc.)

Cooperate with rescheduling requests, requests for extensions, and the like as a matter of common courtesy. Everybody needs a break sometime.

Tailor information requests to the information needed for each specific case, rather than sending blanket, form discovery documents or routinely scheduling depositions without a specific purpose.

Educate his or her client about the other party’s rights and perspective, rather than simply supporting the client’s position regardless of its merits or the realities of the case.

Encourage the client to take a broad view and consider relationship issues. Help the client focus on the issues that can be resolved within the legal system and discourage justification of the client’s bad behavior on the basis of the estranged spouse’s total lack of redeeming qualities.

Prepare seriously for settlement negotiations; do the homework that is necessary to conclude the case. Run after-tax cash flow schedules and marital balance sheets; put together comprehensive parenting plans, update financial statements – as if the case were going to trial instead of a negotiation session. Too often we contribute to delays by being unprepared to negotiate effectively.

Keep his or her word. If a cooperative lawyer commits to provide information or a document draft by a certain date, he or she does so or makes a courtesy call to explain an unavoidable delay. If a cooperative lawyer makes a proposal in negotiation, he or she does not renege on the proposal on the table and retreat to a more favorable position for his or her client.

Use the legal system as a resource to help settle the case if appropriate.

Understand the rich menu of alternative dispute resolution resources and recommend their use as appropriate.

Maintain a civil and courteous approach. If litigation is necessary, stipulate where possible, cooperate with the admission of exhibits, accommodate the other side’s expert witnesses, and advocate for his or her client without becoming antagonistic.

Most good lawyers do most of these things most of the time. But we all slip up on occasion. Committing to “cooperative divorce” avoids the problems of “collaborative divorce” and improves the practice of family law.

Thanks to Gary Young, Allan Koritzinsky, Linda Balisle, and Margo Melli for their input and support of the “cooperative divorce” concept.

This articles provides general information only and is not intended as a substitute for legal advice. Nor does this article imply any attorney client relationship. This article is for informative purposes only and may not apply in your state, please consult an attorney in your area.

Continue Reading

Finance

Internet Business Secrets – The Power Of An Automated Money-Making System

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

I was reading an email by a pretty high-profile marketer recently and he brought across what I thought was an excellent point. The truth is, I’ve been an advocate of having an automated business system online, as that is the best way to fully make use of the Internet to generate a stable income.

Having a sales system (or marketing funnel or whatever it is you call it) ensures that your business is powerful and reliable. Moreover, this system goes out to work for you.

A sales system, for those of you are not sure what it is, is the funnel your customers go through when they experience your business. This includes your website, your order form, your download page or order confirmation page, your bonus products, your email follow-up system, your customer support, and everything else your customer experiences.

On the Internet, unlike in offline sales, it’s not you yourself that’s generating the sales, it’s your machines! It’s your autoresponder, it’s your merchant account, it’s your web page.

Once you set it up and put your input into (say creating a web page), the ‘thing’ goes out to work for you and generates sales for you.

When you combine these factors, it comprises a system. And that system is powerful leverage.

Marketing and traffic is important, but so is your marketing system! So before you even start marketing and advertising your business, ensure that you have a marketing system in place, that will ensure your business gets off on a very strong footing that almost guarantees your future profits.

Continue Reading

Trending