In Collaborative Practice (CP), the clients and their attorneys (and other professionals in the case, if there are any) contract to resolve the issues presented in a structured process without litigation. Lawyers who engage in CP are governed by the legal professional rules in their state. However, Collaborative Practice differs greatly from adversarial dispute resolution practice. It challenges practitioners in ways not necessarily addressed by the ethics of individual disciplines. Therefore, collaborative professionals have developed their own standards to provide guidance for their members. Cochran describes the legal and ethical context within which professionals engage in CP in the United States. He considers the ethics of CP under the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct and under the International Association of Collaborative Professionals’ (IACP) Ethical Standards for Collaborative Practitioners, the most common set of guidelines for collaborative professionals. Both sets of rules set standards for client autonomy, competence, diligence, confidentiality, candor, and loyalty. Cochrandemonstrates that CP falls squarely within the ethical behavior parameters for lawyers.
Cochran, Robert F. Jr.
"Legal Ethics and Collaborative Practice Ethics,"
Hofstra Law Review: Vol. 38
, Article 4.
Available at: http://scholarlycommons.law.hofstra.edu/hlr/vol38/iss2/4