Diane D. Hitzemann, Mediator and Collaborative Attorney


A collaborative philosophy underlies my approach to resolving disputes, developing estate plans and providing counsel in all business and client relationships. To achieve my clients’ objectives, I listen carefully to identify what is important to them and what they want to accomplish. Their values and priorities form the basis for generating legal options for consideration; legal options lead to choices they make for developing a plan to attain the intended results.

As a collaborative lawyer, I provide legal advice and counsel in four-way conferences with another collaborative lawyer and both parties. Collaborative Law is a cooperative approach to resolving disputes when parties need legal representation due to power imbalances, disparity in understanding financial information and/or the ability to negotiate for themselves, but don’t want the “battle” of an adversarial legal process. We identify objectives, gather relevant information and consider alternatives designed to achieve the intended results. We use the resources of neutral financial and mental health professionals as needed. The goal is to arrive at a settlement in an atmosphere of trust and cooperation without going to court. Settlement by agreement is the sole purpose and goal of my legal representation.

As a mediator, I work directly and simultaneously with all parties, and their lawyers when present, in a voluntary and confidential process to manage through the conflict in ways that respect the differing perspectives, needs, interests and goals of the parties. My role as a neutral mediator is to facilitate communication; I do not advocate for either party nor do I provide legal advice. My objective is to actively support the parties by understanding and articulating the issues that lie beneath their dispute. That understanding becomes the basis for developing creative solutions that build from what all parties view as important.

My non-adversarial model of representation is not about winning and losing, but rather about negotiation and holistic solutions.