Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Collaborative Law Approved in Washington State

The Rules of Professional Conduct Committee of the Washington State Bar Association has recently issued an advisory opinion approving the use of Collaborative Law to resolve family law matters. The opinion is based on two requirements.

The first requirement is that the attorney must believe that the client's interests will be well served by utilizing the process. Presumably, the lawyer would not recommend it unless that were the case.

The second requirement is that there must be informed consent by the client. Informed consent, in this situation, means that there has been consideration of the client's objectives, the possible benefits and risks of the process, and the availability of other options. Again, those are normally discussed by the attorney and client before the process is chosen and begun.

This is another example of the increasing approval and spread of Collaborative Law through the United States. Clients should ask their lawyers about the advisability of using Collaborative Law in just about any kind of family law case.

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