[UNIFORM LAW DRAFT ]
RULE 8.10. UNIFORM COLLABORATIVE LAW RULE
1 (a) Definitions.
2 (1) "Collaborative law communication" means a statement, whether oral or
3 in a record, or verbal or nonverbal, that:
4 (A) is made to conduct, participate in, continue, or reconvene a
5 collaborative law process; and
6 (B) occurs after the parties sign a collaborative law participation agreement
7 and before the collaborative law process is concluded.
8 (2) "Collaborative law participation agreement" means an agreement by
9 persons to participate in a collaborative law process.
10 (3) "Collaborative law process" means a procedure intended to resolve a
11 collaborative matter without intervention by a tribunal in which persons:
12 (A) sign a collaborative law participation agreement; and
13 (B) are represented by collaborative lawyers.
14 (4) "Collaborative lawyer" means a lawyer who represents a party in a
15 collaborative law process.
16 (5) "Collaborative matter" means a dispute, transaction, claim, problem, or
17 issue for resolution, including a dispute, claim, or issue in a proceeding, which
18 [Alternative A: is described in a collaborative law participation agreement
19 and arises under the family or domestic relations law of this state, including:
20 (A) marriage, divorce, dissolution, annulment, and property distribution;
21 (B) child custody, visitation, and parenting time;
22 (C) alimony, maintenance, and child support;
23 (D) adoption;
24 (E) parentage; and
25 (F) premarital, marital, and post-marital agreements. ]
26 [Alternative B: is described in a collaborative law participation agreement. ]
27 (6) "Law firm" means:
28 (A) lawyers who practice law together in a partnership, professional
29 corporation, sole proprietorship, limited liability company, or association; and
30 (B) lawyers employed in a legal services organization, or the legal
31 department of a corporation or other organization, or the legal department of a
32 government or governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality.
33 (7) "Nonparty participant" means a person, other than a party and the
34 party's collaborative lawyer, that participates in a collaborative law process.
35 (8) "Party" means a person that signs a collaborative law participation
36 agreement and whose consent is necessary to resolve a collaborative matter.
37 (9) "Person" means an individual, corporation, business trust, estate, trust,
38 partnership, limited liability company, association, joint venture, public
39 corporation, government or governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality,
40 or any other legal or commercial entity.
41 (10) "Proceeding" means:
42 (A) a judicial, administrative, arbitral, or other adjudicative process before a
43 tribunal, including related prehearing and post-hearing motions, conferences, and
44 discovery; or
45 (B) a legislative hearing or similar process.
46 (11) "Prospective party" means a person that discusses with a prospective
47 collaborative lawyer the possibility of signing a collaborative law participation
49 (12) "Record" means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or
50 that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable
52 (13) "Related to a collaborative matter" means involving the same parties,
53 transaction or occurrence, nucleus of operative fact, dispute, claim, or issue as the
54 collaborative matter.
55 (14) "Sign" means, with present intent to authenticate or adopt a record:
56 (A) to execute or adopt a tangible symbol; or
57 (B) to attach to or logically associate with the record an electronic symbol,
58 sound, or process.
59 (15) "Tribunal" means:
60 (A) a court, arbitrator, administrative agency, or other body acting in an
61 adjudicative capacity which, after presentation of evidence or legal argument, has
62 jurisdiction to render a decision affecting a party's interests in a matter; or
63 (B) a legislative body conducting a hearing or similar process.
64 (b) Collaborative Law Participation Agreement.
65 (1) A collaborative law participation agreement must:
66 (A) be in a record;
67 (B) be signed by the parties;
68 (C) state the parties' intention to resolve a collaborative matter through a
69 collaborative law process under these rules;
70 (D) describe the nature and scope of the matter;
71 (E) identify the collaborative lawyer who represents each party in the
72 process; and
73 (F) contain a statement by each collaborative lawyer confirming the
74 lawyer's representation of a party in the collaborative law process.
75 (2) Parties may agree to include in a collaborative law participation
76 agreement additional provisions not inconsistent with these rules.
77 (c) Beginning and Concluding Collaborative Law Process.
78 (1) A collaborative law process begins when the parties sign a collaborative
79 law participation agreement.
80 (2) A tribunal may not order a party to participate in a collaborative law
81 process over that party's objection.
82 (3) A collaborative law process is concluded by a:
83 (A) resolution of a collaborative matter as evidenced by a signed record;
84 (B) resolution of a part of the collaborative matter, evidenced by a signed
85 record, in which the parties agree that the remaining parts of the matter will not be
86 resolved in the process; or
87 (C) termination of the process.
88 (4) A collaborative law process terminates:
89 (A) when a party gives notice to other parties in a record that the process is
91 (B) when a party:
92 (i) begins a proceeding related to a collaborative matter without the
93 agreement of all parties; or
94 (ii) in a pending proceeding related to the matter:
95 -- initiates a pleading, motion, order to show cause, or request for a
96 conference with the tribunal;
97 -- requests that the proceeding be put on the tribunal's active calendar; or
98 -- takes similar action requiring notice to be sent to the parties; or
99 (C) except as otherwise provided by Rule 8.10 (c)(7), when a party
100 discharges a collaborative lawyer or a collaborative lawyer withdraws from further
101 representation of a party.
102 (5) A party's collaborative lawyer must give prompt notice to all other
103 parties in a record of a discharge or withdrawal.
104 (6) A party may terminate a collaborative law process with or without
106 (7) Notwithstanding the discharge or withdrawal of a collaborative lawyer,
107 a collaborative law process continues, if not later than 30 days after the date that
108 the notice of the discharge or withdrawal of a collaborative lawyer required by
109 paragraph (e) is sent to the parties:
110 (A) the unrepresented party engages a successor collaborative lawyer; and
111 (B) in a signed record:
112 (i) the parties consent to continue the process by reaffirming the
113 collaborative law participation agreement;
114 (ii) the agreement is amended to identify the successor collaborative lawyer;
116 (iii) the successor collaborative lawyer confirms the lawyer's representation
117 of a party in the collaborative process.
118 (8) A collaborative law process does not conclude if, with the consent of the
119 parties, a party requests a tribunal to approve a resolution of the collaborative
120 matter or any part thereof as evidenced by a signed record.
121 (9) A collaborative law participation agreement may provide additional
122 methods of concluding a collaborative law process.
123 (d) Proceedings Pending Before Tribunal; Status Report.
124 (1) Persons in a proceeding pending before a tribunal may sign a
125 collaborative law participation agreement to seek to resolve a collaborative matter
126 related to the proceeding. The parties must file promptly with the tribunal a notice
127 of the agreement after it is signed. Subject to paragraph (c) and Rules 7 and 8, the
128 filing operates as an application for a stay of the proceeding.
129 (2) The parties must file promptly with the tribunal notice in a record when
130 a collaborative law process concludes. The stay of the proceeding under paragraph
131 (a) is lifted when the notice is filed. The notice may not specify any reason for
132 termination of the process.
133 (3) A tribunal in which a proceeding is stayed under paragraph (a) may
134 require the parties and collaborative lawyers to provide a status report on the
135 collaborative law process and the proceeding. A status report may include only
136 information on whether the process is ongoing or concluded. It may not include a
137 report, assessment, evaluation, recommendation, finding, or other communication
138 regarding a collaborative law process or collaborative law matter.
139 (4) A tribunal may not consider a communication made in violation of
140 paragraph (c).
141 (5) A tribunal must provide parties notice and an opportunity to be heard
142 before dismissing a proceeding in which a notice of collaborative process is filed
143 based on delay or failure to prosecute.
144 (e) Emergency Order. During a collaborative law process, a tribunal may
145 issue emergency orders to protect the health, safety, welfare, or interest of a party
146 or family member.
147 (f) Approval of Agreement by Tribunal. A tribunal may approve an
148 agreement resulting from a collaborative law process.
149 (g) Disqualification of Collaborative Lawyer and Lawyers in Associated
150 Law Firm.
151 (1) Except as otherwise provided in Rule 8.10(g)(3), a collaborative lawyer
152 is disqualified from appearing before a tribunal to represent a party in a proceeding
153 related to the collaborative matter.
154 (2) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (c) and Rules 10 and 11, a
155 lawyer in a law firm with which the collaborative lawyer is associated is
156 disqualified from appearing before a tribunal to represent a party in a proceeding
157 related to the collaborative matter if the collaborative lawyer is disqualified from
158 doing so under paragraph (a).
159 (3) A collaborative lawyer or a lawyer in a law firm with which the
160 collaborative lawyer is associated may represent a party:
161 (A) to ask a tribunal to approve an agreement resulting from the
162 collaborative law process; or
163 (B) to seek or defend an emergency order to protect the health, safety,
164 welfare, or interest of a party or family member if a successor lawyer is not
165 immediately available to represent that person.
166 (4) If Rule 8.10 (3)(B) applies, a collaborative lawyer, or lawyer in a law
167 firm with which the collaborative lawyer is associated, may represent a party or
168 family member only until the person is represented by a successor lawyer or
169 reasonable measures are taken to protect the health, safety, welfare, or interest of
170 the person.
171 (h) Low Income Parties.
172 (1) The disqualification of Rule8.10(g)(1) applies to a collaborative lawyer
173 representing a party with or without fee.
174 (b) After a collaborative law process concludes, another lawyer in a law
175 firm with which a collaborative lawyer disqualified under Rule 8.10(g)(1) is
176 associated may represent a party without fee in the collaborative matter or a matter
177 related to the collaborative matter if:
178 (A) the party has an annual income that qualifies the party for free legal
179 representation under the criteria established by the law firm for free legal
181 (B) the collaborative law participation agreement so provides; and
182 (C) the collaborative lawyer is isolated from any participation in the
183 collaborative matter or a matter related to the collaborative matter through
184 procedures within the law firm which are reasonably calculated to isolate the
185 collaborative lawyer from such participation.
186 (i) Governmental Entity as Party.
187 (1) The disqualification of Rule 8.10(g)(1) applies to a collaborative lawyer
188 representing a party that is a government or governmental subdivision, agency, or
190 (2) After a collaborative law process concludes, another lawyer in a law
191 firm with which the collaborative lawyer is associated may represent a government
192 or governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality in the collaborative matter
193 or a matter related to the collaborative matter if:
194 (A) the collaborative law participation agreement so provides; and
195 (B) the collaborative lawyer is isolated from any participation in the
196 collaborative matter or a matter related to the collaborative matter through
197 procedures within the law firm which are reasonably calculated to isolate the
198 collaborative lawyer from such participation.
199 (j) Disclosure of Information. Except as provided by law other than these
200 rules, during the collaborative law process, on the request of another party, a party
201 must make timely, full, candid, and informal disclosure of information related to
202 the collaborative matter without formal discovery. A party also must update
203 promptly previously disclosed information that has materially changed. The parties
204 may define the scope of disclosure during the collaborative law process.
205 (k) Standards of Professional Responsibility and Mandatory Reporting Not
206 Affected. These rules do not affect:
207 (1) the professional responsibility obligations and standards applicable to a
208 lawyer or other licensed professional; or
209 (2) the obligation of a person to report abuse or neglect, abandonment, or
210 exploitation of a child or adult under the law of this state.
211 (l) Appropriateness of Collaborative Law Process. Before a prospective
212 party signs a collaborative law participation agreement, a prospective collaborative
213 lawyer must:
214 (1) assess with the prospective party factors the lawyer reasonably believes
215 relate to whether a collaborative law process is appropriate for the prospective
216 party's matter;
217 (2) provide the prospective party with information that the lawyer
218 reasonably believes is sufficient for the party to make an informed decision about
219 the material benefits and risks of a collaborative law process as compared to the
220 material benefits and risks of other reasonably available alternatives for resolving
221 the proposed collaborative matter, such as litigation, mediation, arbitration, or
222 expert evaluation; and
223 (3) advise the prospective party that:
224 (A) after signing an agreement if a party initiates a proceeding or seeks
225 tribunal intervention in a pending proceeding related to the collaborative matter,
226 the collaborative law process terminates;
227 (B) participation in a collaborative law process is voluntary and any party
228 has the right to terminate unilaterally a collaborative law process with or without
229 cause; and
230 (C) the collaborative lawyer and any lawyer in a law firm with which the
231 collaborative lawyer is associated may not appear before a tribunal to represent a
232 party in a proceeding related to the collaborative matter, except as authorized by
233 Rule 8.10 (g)(1), (h)(2), or (i)(2).
234 (m) Coercive or Violent Relationship.
235 (1) Before a prospective party signs a collaborative law participation
236 agreement, a prospective collaborative lawyer must make reasonable inquiry
237 whether the prospective party has a history of a coercive or violent relationship
238 with another prospective party.
239 (2) Throughout a collaborative law process, a collaborative lawyer
240 reasonably and continuously must assess whether the party the collaborative
241 lawyer represents has a history of a coercive or violent relationship with another
243 (3) If a collaborative lawyer reasonably believes that the party the lawyer
244 represents or the prospective party who consults the lawyer has a history of a
245 coercive or violent relationship with another party or prospective party, the lawyer
246 may not begin or continue a collaborative law process unless:
247 (A) the party or the prospective party requests beginning or continuing a
248 process; and
249 (B) the collaborative lawyer reasonably believes that the safety of the party
250 or prospective party can be protected adequately during a process.
251 (n) Confidentiality of Collaborative Law Communication. A collaborative
252 law communication is confidential to the extent agreed by the parties in a signed
253 record or as provided by law of this state other than these rules.
254 (o) Authority of Tribunal in Case of Noncompliance.
255 (1) If an agreement fails to meet the requirements of Rule 8.10(b), or a
256 lawyer fails to comply with Rule 8.10(l) or (m), a tribunal may nonetheless find
257 that the parties intended to enter into a collaborative law participation agreement if
259 (A) signed a record indicating an intention to enter into a collaborative law
260 participation agreement; and
261 (B) reasonably believed they were participating in a collaborative law
263 (2) If a tribunal makes the findings specified in paragraph (1), and the
264 interests of justice require, the tribunal may:
265 (A) enforce an agreement evidenced by a record resulting from the process
266 in which the parties participated;
267 (B) apply the disqualification provisions of Rule 8.10 (c), (d), (g), (h), and
268 (i); and
269 (C) apply a privilege under Rule 513.
270 EXPLANATORY NOTE
271 Rule 8.10 took effect _____________________________.