The Collaborative Law Committee
will consider the benefits of, and concerns about, Collaborative Law (“CL”) and
seek to improve and expand its use, where appropriate, as well as promote
professionalism and best practices in the field. It will
keep its membership apprised of developments in the field, as well as the
efforts of other CL organizations, the Court system’s efforts in the CL field,
and the effort to enact a Uniform Collaborative Law Act.
The Committee is engaged
in the further development of an exciting area of expansion in ADR.
Collaborative Law (“CL”) has been described as a cousin to mediation. Its
practitioners typically help the parties reach a resolution by agreement, using
interest-based negotiation rather than positional bargaining. It differs from
mediation in that each party has an attorney who helps the party develop and
crystallize the party’s interests, objectives and concerns, points out the
relevant and helpful practical and legal facts and arguments, and ensures that
each party makes a well-informed decision.
The most striking feature of CL is the parties’ and attorneys’ agreement that
both parties’ attorneys withdraw if either party leaves the negotiation and
proceeds to adversarial-litigation. The parties and attorneys display their
commitment to a negotiated settlement and employ the techniques typically
employed by mediators to establish rapport with the other party, reframing and
looping the concerns of each party and understanding the interests beneath any
stated positions. CL is best when the relationship between the parties is as
important as the issue that is in dispute and empowers the parties to be in
control of the final resolution.The Committee helps to (i) spread knowledge of
CL to non-CL lawyers; (ii) develop best practices in CL; (iii) promote and
expand the use of CL in appropriate circumstances in both family and civil
The Committee has been monitoring the Uniform Law Commission’s efforts to
promulgate a Uniform Collaborative Law Act (“UCLA”) and in conjunction with
other Bar Association Committees has been providing feedback to the Commission.
The Committee is drafted a report, in cooperation with the Section’s Legislative
Committee, on the substance and advisability of the UCLA for the NYSBA DR
Section. The report was approved by the Executive committee and will be used to
inform the New York delegates to the American Bar Association House of delegates
which has before it a resolution relating to the UCLA.
Join the Committee