RULE 8.10. COLLABORATIVE LAW
1 (a) Collaborative Law Defined.
2 Collaborative law is a process in which parties and their respective
3 collaborative lawyers and other professionals contract in writing to resolve
4 disputes without seeking court action other than approval of a stipulated
5 settlement. The process may include the use of alternative dispute resolution
6 neutrals as defined in N.D.R.Ct. 8.9, depending on the circumstances of the
7 particular case.
8 (b) Deferral from Scheduling.
9 Parties seeking to resolve an action using a collaborative law process must
10 request deferral from scheduling under N.D.R.Civ.P. 16 or N.D.R.Ct. 8.3. If the
11 court grants deferral, the court may not set any deadlines for the period specified in
12 the order approving deferral.
13 (c) Collaborative Law Participation Agreement.
14 (1) A collaborative law participation agreement must:
15 (A) be in a record;
16 (B) be signed by the parties;
17 (C) state the parties' intention to resolve a collaborative matter through a
18 collaborative law process under these rules;
19 (D) describe the nature and scope of the matter;
20 (E) identify the collaborative lawyer who represents each party in the
21 process; and
22 (F) contain a statement by each collaborative lawyer confirming the
23 lawyer's representation of a party in the collaborative law process.
24 (2) Parties may agree to include in a collaborative law participation
25 agreement additional provisions not inconsistent with these rules.
26 (d) Beginning and Concluding Collaborative Law Process.
27 (1) A collaborative law process begins when the parties sign a collaborative
28 law participation agreement.
29 (2) A court may not order a party to participate in a collaborative law
30 process over that party's objection.
31 (3) A collaborative law process is concluded by a:
32 (A) resolution of a collaborative matter as evidenced by a signed record;
33 (B) resolution of a part of the collaborative matter, evidenced by a signed
34 record, in which the parties agree that the remaining parts of the matter will not be
35 resolved in the process; or
36 (C) termination of the process.
37 (4) A collaborative law process terminates:
38 (A) when a party gives notice to other parties in a record that the process is
40 (B) when a party:
41 (i) begins a proceeding related to a collaborative matter without the
42 agreement of all parties; or
43 (ii) in a pending proceeding related to the matter:
44 -- initiates a pleading, motion, order to show cause, or request for a
45 conference with the court;
46 -- requests that the proceeding be put on the court's active calendar; or
47 -- takes similar action requiring notice to be sent to the parties; or
48 (C) except as otherwise provided by Rule 8.10(d)(7), when a party
49 discharges a collaborative lawyer or a collaborative lawyer withdraws from further
50 representation of a party.
51 (5) A party's collaborative lawyer must give prompt notice to all other
52 parties in a record of a discharge or withdrawal.
53 (6) A party may terminate a collaborative law process with or without
55 (7) Notwithstanding the discharge or withdrawal of a collaborative lawyer,
56 a collaborative law process continues, if not later than 30 days after the date that
57 the notice of the discharge or withdrawal of a collaborative lawyer required by
58 Rule 8.10(d)(5) is sent to the parties:
59 (A) the unrepresented party engages a successor collaborative lawyer; and
60 (B) in a signed record:
61 (i) the parties consent to continue the process by reaffirming the
62 collaborative law participation agreement;
63 (ii) the agreement is amended to identify the successor collaborative lawyer;
65 (iii) the successor collaborative lawyer confirms the lawyer's representation
66 of a party in the collaborative process.
67 (8) A collaborative law process does not conclude if, with the consent of the
68 parties, a party requests a court to approve a resolution of the collaborative matter
69 or any part of it as evidenced by a signed record.
70 (9) A collaborative law participation agreement may provide additional
71 methods of concluding a collaborative law process.
72 (e) Disqualification of Collaborative Lawyer and Lawyers in Associated Law
74 (1) Except as otherwise provided in Rule 8.10(e)(3), a collaborative lawyer
75 is disqualified from appearing before a court to represent a party in a proceeding
76 related to the collaborative matter.
77 (2) Except as otherwise provided in Rule 8.10(e)(3), a lawyer in a law firm
78 with which the collaborative lawyer is associated is disqualified from appearing
79 before a court to represent a party in a proceeding related to the collaborative
80 matter if the collaborative lawyer is disqualified from doing so under Rule
82 (3) A collaborative lawyer or a lawyer in a law firm with which the
83 collaborative lawyer is associated may represent a party:
84 (A) to ask a court to approve an agreement resulting from the collaborative
85 law process; or
86 (B) to seek or defend an emergency order to protect the health, safety,
87 welfare, or interest of a party or family member if a successor lawyer is not
88 immediately available to represent that person.
89 (4) If Rule 8.10(e)(3)(B) applies, a collaborative lawyer, or lawyer in a law
90 firm with which the collaborative lawyer is associated, may represent a party or
91 family member only until the person is represented by a successor lawyer or
92 reasonable measures are taken to protect the health, safety, welfare, or interest of
93 the person.
94 (f) Disclosure of Information.
95 Except as otherwise provided by law, during the collaborative law process,
96 on the request of another party, a party must make timely, full, candid, and
97 informal disclosure of information related to the collaborative matter without
98 formal discovery. A party also must update promptly previously disclosed
99 information that has materially changed. The parties may define the scope of
100 disclosure during the collaborative law process.
101 (g) Additional Alternative Dispute Resolution Following Collaborative
103 When a case has been deferred under N.D.R.Ct. 8.10(b) and is reinstated
104 with new counsel or a collaborative law process has resulted in withdrawal of
105 counsel prior to the filing of the case, the court should not ordinarily order the
106 parties to engage in further ADR proceedings without the agreement of the parties.
107 Participation in the collaborative law process constitutes ADR participation for
108 reporting in the N.D.R.Ct. 8.8 statement.
109 EXPLANATORY NOTE
110 Rule 8.10 took effect _____________________________.
111 Rule 8.10 is designed to facilitate use of collaborative law in North Dakota.
112 Sources: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of September 25-26, 2014,
113 pages____; April 24-25, 2014, pages 4-10; April 25-26, 2013, pages 23-26.
115 Cross Reference: N.D.R.Ev. 513 (Collaborative Law Privilege).