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Thursday, April 12th, 2012


Attorney Linda Alvarez of Discovering Agreement


Staying upstream of conflict:

Dominic Barter (Restorative Circles and former Guest on this Telecouncil Series) talks about the importance of having a restorative system in place in a community before the conflict arises – one that the community knows is there and can easily access and participate in when they are experiencing stressful or painful conflict. 

People often imagine that Discovering Agreement is about dispute resolution — but that is not really the active focus of Discovering Agreement.  We try to enter the conversation "upstream" of the conflict — helping parties who are creating contractual relationships calibrate their alignment, clarify their shared purpose and values, and set up their own, ideal systems for addressing change and engaging conflict as needed in the future. 

In a nutshell, the focus of Discovering Agreement is to design mutually satisfactory business relationships and enterprises including setting up systems for meeting crisis creatively and productively.

For this telecouncil we will hear from Linda specifics about how this works on the ground and likely hear inspiring examples of success stories as well as tap her wisdom as an attorney working inside the legal and judiciary system. You may also listen to the archive of this council, as with all councils, posted here after April 12th and permanently housed here.

Linda Alvarez’s work as an attorney and as a business consultant transforms the way contract negotiation, drafting, and enforcement impact business relationships. Linda facilitates a wide range of transactions and relationships, enabling the parties to design worthwhile, sustainable and enjoyable transactions and relationships, conduct their business and legal affairs with integrity, and establish reliable frameworks for addressing conflict productively.

Linda’s ‘Discovering Agreement’ model empowers clients to conduct their legal affairs in alignment with their vision and values without sacrificing effectiveness or credibility.  Her innovative approach generates legally enforceable documents that embed ’operating systems’ into clients’ business and contractual relationships, inspiring and supporting sustainable, beneficial, re-generative behaviors as well as the rapid return to alignment and productivity should unexpected events or disagreements arise.

The Discovering Agreement approach:

    Calibrates alignment of the parties’ intentions, values, and expectations – allowing them to gauge in advance whether the proposed relationship or transaction will be workable and worthwhile in the long-run;
    Aligns content and language in legal contracts with the Vision-Mission-Values of the parties – so that contract terms and provisions harness the power of the conventional legal system to support the parties in conducting business and engaging crisis in accordance with their declared Vision/Mission/Values; and
    Produces contracts that function as guidebooks for keeping the enterprise/transaction/relationship on track and productive – by orienting and re-orienting parties towards collaborative, creative responses to unexpected change or disagreement (as opposed to destructive adversarial posturing).

About Linda

The first twenty years of Linda Alvarez’s professional life were spent pursuing a successful career in the Arts.  Trained in theatre, she and her husband produced and managed theatrical and media productions across the United States. In the mid-1990’s Linda reentered the academic world earning her law degree, magna cum laude, in 1997.  She entered private practice in the large firm environment — including Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (Palo Alto) and Vinson & Elkins (Houston).

Beginning with her engagement as a member of the team successfully defending the first mp3 player to come to market[1], Linda has remained active on the frontier where digital technology pushes the boundaries of legal concepts designed for the analog and print-based era.  As Senior Counsel for Litigation and Trademarks at Align Technology, Inc., Linda managed major litigations on behalf of the corporation as well as shepherding the company’s valuable consumer trademark portfolio. With the successful conclusion of the litigations in 2005, Linda chose to re-focus her career toward transactional work and launched her solo practice.

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