Beyond the Adversarial System

Underlying our civil and criminal “justice” systems is the assumption that the examination of objective facts can lead to a version of “truth” and ultimately justice by encouraging socially desirable behavior behavior and punishing undesirable acts. On some level, this uncovering of objective facts, or what “really” happened is thought to produce a “fair” result in the eyes of the more broad community.

It is through an adversarial system wherein opposing parties – usually through their attorneys – present their version of facts consistent with strictly drawn rules of evidence. At the conclusion of this process, whether in the context of a trial or hearing, a finder of fact determines which set of facts is/was more likely to represent what actually occurred at some point in the past. This adversarial process is consistent with the empirical, scientific orientation toward “truth” that has dominated in our culture for centuries.

In contrast to this scientific orientation towards truth, holistic lawyering has at its core a less empirical sense of truth based not so much on objective reality, but rather through heightened mindfulness of moment-to-moment experience. Holistic law is premised on the cultivation of heightened consciousness which allows individuals to understand and approach their conflicts with far more clarity. This clarity is the precursor to the identification of optimal solutions that can truly serve the best interests of all interested parties, including society at large.

Such optimal, holistic solutions are seldom revealed by our predominant adversarial system. To the contrary, the solutions borne from courtroom battles produce little more than a fleeting sense of vindication for involved parties, and financial gain to attorneys.

To learn more about holistic lawyering, contact Attorney Michael Lubofsky at (415) 508-6263 or visit