RULE 8.10. COLLABORATIVE LAW
1 (a) Collaborative Law Defined. Collaborative law is a process in which
2 parties and their respective collaborative lawyers and other professionals contract
3 in writing to resolve disputes without seeking court action other than approval of a
4 stipulated settlement. The process may include the use of alternative dispute
5 resolution neutrals as defined in N.D.R.Ct. 8.9, depending on the circumstances of
6 the particular case.
7 (b) Deferral from Scheduling. Parties seeking to resolve an action using a
8 collaborative law process must request deferral from scheduling under
9 N.D.R.Civ.P. 16 or N.D.R.Ct. 8.3. If the court grants deferral, the court may not
10 set any deadlines for the period specified in the order approving deferral.
11 (c) Collaborative Law Participation Agreement.
12 (1) A collaborative law participation agreement must:
13 (A) be in a record;
14 (B) be signed by the parties;
15 (C) state the parties' intention to resolve a collaborative matter through a
16 collaborative law process under these rules;
17 (D) describe the nature and scope of the matter;
18 (E) identify the collaborative lawyer who represents each party in the
19 process; and
20 (F) contain a statement by each collaborative lawyer confirming the
21 lawyer's representation of a party in the collaborative law process.
22 (2) Parties may agree to include in a collaborative law participation
23 agreement additional provisions not inconsistent with these rules.
24 (d) Beginning and Concluding Collaborative Law Process.
25 (1) A collaborative law process begins when the parties sign a collaborative
26 law participation agreement.
27 (2) A court may not order a party to participate in a collaborative law
28 process over that party's objection.
29 (3) A collaborative law process is concluded by a:
30 (A) resolution of a collaborative matter as evidenced by a signed record;
31 (B) resolution of a part of the collaborative matter, evidenced by a signed
32 record, in which the parties agree that the remaining parts of the matter will not be
33 resolved in the process; or
34 (C) termination of the process.
35 (4) A collaborative law process terminates:
36 (A) when a party gives notice to other parties in a record that the process is
38 (B) when a party:
39 (i) begins a proceeding related to a collaborative matter without the
40 agreement of all parties; or
41 (ii) in a pending proceeding related to the matter:
42 -- initiates a pleading, motion, order to show cause, or request for a
43 conference with the court;
44 -- requests that the proceeding be put on the court's active calendar; or
45 -- takes similar action requiring notice to be sent to the parties; or
46 (C) except as otherwise provided by Rule 8.1 (b)(7), when a party
47 discharges a collaborative lawyer or a collaborative lawyer withdraws from further
48 representation of a party.
49 (5) A party's collaborative lawyer must give prompt notice to all other
50 parties in a record of a discharge or withdrawal.
51 (6) A party may terminate a collaborative law process with or without
53 (7) Notwithstanding the discharge or withdrawal of a collaborative lawyer,
54 a collaborative law process continues, if not later than 30 days after the date that
55 the notice of the discharge or withdrawal of a collaborative lawyer required by
56 Rule 8.10 (b)(5) is sent to the parties:
57 (A) the unrepresented party engages a successor collaborative lawyer; and
58 (B) in a signed record:
59 (i) the parties consent to continue the process by reaffirming the
60 collaborative law participation agreement;
61 (ii) the agreement is amended to identify the successor collaborative lawyer;
63 (iii) the successor collaborative lawyer confirms the lawyer's representation
64 of a party in the collaborative process.
65 (8) A collaborative law process does not conclude if, with the consent of the
66 parties, a party requests a court to approve a resolution of the collaborative matter
67 or any part of it as evidenced by a signed record.
68 (9) A collaborative law participation agreement may provide additional
69 methods of concluding a collaborative law process.
70 (e) Disqualification of Collaborative Lawyer and Lawyers in Associated
71 Law Firm.
72 (1) Except as otherwise provided in Rule 8.10 (c)(3), a collaborative lawyer
73 is disqualified from appearing before a court to represent a party in a proceeding
74 related to the collaborative matter.
75 (2) Except as otherwise provided in Rule 8.10 (c)(3), a lawyer in a law firm
76 with which the collaborative lawyer is associated is disqualified from appearing
77 before a court to represent a party in a proceeding related to the collaborative
78 matter if the collaborative lawyer is disqualified from doing so under Rule 8.10
80 (3) A collaborative lawyer or a lawyer in a law firm with which the
81 collaborative lawyer is associated may represent a party:
82 (A) to ask a court to approve an agreement resulting from the collaborative
83 law process; or
84 (B) to seek or defend an emergency order to protect the health, safety,
85 welfare, or interest of a party or family member if a successor lawyer is not
86 immediately available to represent that person.
87 (4) If Rule 8.10 (c)(3)(B) applies, a collaborative lawyer, or lawyer in a law
88 firm with which the collaborative lawyer is associated, may represent a party or
89 family member only until the person is represented by a successor lawyer or
90 reasonable measures are taken to protect the health, safety, welfare, or interest of
91 the person.
92 (f) Disclosure of Information. Except as provided by law, during the
93 collaborative law process, on the request of another party, a party must make
94 timely, full, candid, and informal disclosure of information related to the
95 collaborative matter without formal discovery. A party also must update promptly
96 previously disclosed information that has materially changed. The parties may
97 define the scope of disclosure during the collaborative law process.
98 (g) Additional Alternative Dispute Resolution Following Collaborative
99 Law. When a case has been deferred under N.D.R.Ct. 8.10(b) and is reinstated
100 with new counsel or a collaborative law process has resulted in withdrawal of
101 counsel prior to the filing of the case, the court should not ordinarily order the
102 parties to engage in further ADR proceedings without the agreement of the parties.
103 Participation in the collaborative law process constitutes ADR participation for
104 reporting in the N.D.R.Ct. 8.8 statement.
105 EXPLANATORY NOTE
106 Rule 8.10 took effect _____________________________.
107 Rule 8.10 is designed to facilitate use of collaborative law in North Dakota.
108 Sources: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of
110 Cross Reference: N.D.R.Ev. 513 (Collaborative Law Privilege).