What is It?

What Is Collaborative Law?

Collaborative Law is a form of alternative dispute resolution developed over 25 years ago in Minnesota by Stuart G. Webb. Since then, the practice has spread to all 50 states, as well as to other parts of the world.

Collaborative Law is a voluntary, contractually based alternative dispute resolution process for people seeking a negotiated resolution of their matter rather than having a ruling imposed by a Court Commissioner, Judge, or Arbitrator. The distinctive feature of Collaborative Law as compared to other forms of alternative dispute resolution (such as mediation) is that participants are always represented by lawyers (“collaborative lawyers”). Collaborative lawyers do not represent the client in court for litigation purposes, rather for the purpose of negotiating agreements. Widely practiced in family law matters, Collaborative Law is also appropriate and effective in other areas of civil law, such as in estate, trust, probate, guardianship, business, and real estate matters.

*In Washington State, The Uniform Collaborative Law Act (UCLA) became law in July 2013. RCW 7.77.

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