I love to help business people and their lawyers take control over how the legal system impacts their visionary companies’ values and missions.
My trainings, facilitation, and mentorship services empower businesses and their lawyers to build into companies and contractual relationships a systemic response to disruption and disagreement that is creative, robust, and aligned with the values and imperatives that are foundational to the business.
The Discovering Agreement approach empowers you to operate in alignment with your core principles and values without sacrificing power or credibility.
This innovative approach helps businesses and their lawyers generate legally enforceable documents that embed “conscious” operating systems into business governance, succession, 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.
- Calibrate whether intentions, values, and expectations are aligned – allowing you to gauge in advance whether a proposed relationship or transaction will be workable and worthwhile in the long-run;
- Align content and language contained in legal contracts with the values and imperatives at the core of your business – so that contract terms and provisions harness the power of the conventional legal system to support you in conducting business and engaging crisis in accordance with your deeply held values and core business imperatives; and
- Produce legally enforceable documents that function as guidebooks for keeping the enterprise/transaction/relationship on track and productive – by orienting and re-orienting all involved towards collaborative, creative responses to unexpected change or disagreement (as opposed to destructive adversarial posturing).
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, 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.
In 2012, Linda was recognized by the American Bar Association as a “Legal Rebel” for her work in bringing change to the legal system.
Linda’s approach: Discovering Agreement
Linda developed Discovering Agreement as a way to re-frame the negotiation process, the drafting of contract language, and the performance of contractual relationships. Whereas conventional perspectives cast the parties as adversaries and bargaining power as a function of dominance, Discovering Agreement orients the parties as collaborators designing their ideal business relationship and leveraging their combined power to achieve better results than either party alone could manage.
Using Discovering Agreement, parties can take the reins and build their own ideal systems within the context of the larger legal-justice system, actively transforming how the conventional system impacts their present and future interactions and dealings.
The model grew out of years of study of the principles of active and effective non-violence and draws on proven mediation and restorative justice models of dispute resolution. It is also informed by current research in neuroscience, and by developing trends in business, such as “Conscious Capitalism” (re-orienting business governance and development towards socially, environmentally, and personally responsible values).
Vision, Mission, and Values
Vision – Linda envisions a world where conflict is an invitation to co-create a better world for everyone, where every conversation is grounded in compassion and respect (for self and other). This vision includes a legal system that inspires and supports sustainable, beneficial, re-generative behaviours, relationships and enterprises – a system that allows individuals, organizations and communities to conduct all their business and legal affairs in alignment with their values, their principles and their vision for a better world.
Mission – Linda’s mission is to support clients in conducting their legal affairs in alignment with their values, their principles and their vision for a better world, and to stimulate and sustain positive relationships and enterprises, with positive results and proceeds – for her clients, for the local and global communities, and for future generations.
Values – In service of her Vision and Mission, Linda chooses to practice law in accordance with the following principles:
- winning does not require a loser;
- addressing conflict and crisis need not involve coercion or manipulation;
- safety must be mutual or it is not real safety (“safety” = having sufficient predictability so that your expectations are reasonably assured so you can plan and venture with well-founded confidence that you retain the power to take a meaningful role in responding to changing circumstances and will have an equal voice and be treated fairly should conflict arise);
- finding ways to join forces with others and design sustainable, beneficial and enjoyable relationships and enterprises is wiser and more productive than approaching deal-making as opposing forces or paranoid bullies trying to win advantage one over the other.
Linda values honesty, reliability, excellence, responsiveness, kindness and enjoyment. She believes that integrity (consciously aligning one’s actions with one’s deeply held values) is the cornerstone of any worthwhile endeavor. When it comes to both personal and professional behaviour, she believes the best guide is the Golden Rule.