Journal of Dispute Resolution
Scott R. Peppet, The Ethics of Collaborative Law, 2008 J. Disp. Resol. 131, available at http://scholar.law.colorado.edu/articles/745/.
The practice of Collaborative Law - in which both parties agree that should their case fail to settle, both lawyers will be disqualified from proceeding to court - has grown rapidly in the family bar over the last decade. At the same time, the ethics of this practice have been called into question. Competing ethics opinions in 2007 - from the Colorado Bar Association and the American Bar Association - alternately ban and permit the practice. This Article tries to clarify the underlying ethical issues in Collaborative Law, arguing that much confusion has resulted from imprecise understandings of what the practice is and how it is typically effected by contract. The Article concludes that Collaborative Law can comply with the current professional ethics rules, but that this result is not inevitable - collaborative lawyers must be careful to structure their practice to avoid certain ethical pitfalls.
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