Two Track may be the answer for clients who want to negotiate, but are fearful that they may need to bail out and go to the court house. If these clients and their lawyers are not familiar with the parties and lawyers on the other side of the dispute, they may be concerned that everyone will not use their best efforts to settle. Two Track gives parties the opportunity to pursue settlement with the security of having litigation counsel already hired and available if things go wrong.
This Is How It Works: Track One is the settlement portion of the process, and Track Two is the adversarial or litigated portion. The parties begin in Track One, but if they fail to settle, they change lawyers and go to Track Two.
The "Two Track" dispute resolution model is the creation of Chorda Conflict Management of Austin, Texas. This process provides another way for parties to save time and money and maintain relationships by avoiding going to court, and is similar to the collaborative and cooperative processes in many respects.
In the Two Track Model, the parties initially engage Track One attorneys trained in interest based settlement negotiations to resolve the parties’ disputes. The parties may also engage Track Two attorneys who will represent them in litigation or any other adversarial process if all efforts by the Track One attorneys are unsuccessful in resolving the issues. Track Two attorneys are identified at the beginning of the case and may provide input to the parties as negotiations proceed with the Track One attorneys. However, Track One is always in the lead and Track Two is a backup role and only used if the dispute is not settled in Track One.
Track Two requirements are similar to the requirements in Collaborative Law in that the Track One lawyers must withdraw if the dispute does not settle. A Track One attorney may not act as the client’s Track Two attorney in the same dispute. Track One attorneys must hand the case off to Track Two attorneys who are not in the same law firm as the Track One attorneys. This feature is included so that the Track One attorneys and the parties will focus efforts on settling disputes, and the Track One attorneys or their firms will not continue to profit from a case that does not settle.