5 Benefits of the Uniform Collaborative Law Act

While using a collaborative approach to dispute resolution has gained popularity in the past few years, the collaborative law process has been around for a few decades. The recent passage of the Uniform Collaborative Law Act (UCLA) in Virginia has many benefits for both lawyers and clients.

The regulation of this type of alternative dispute resolution allows for a recognized and consistent framework affording clients another opportunity to reach an agreement together rather than battle it out in court. While there are others, learn more about these 5 benefits of the uniform collaborative law act and how it might benefit your case.

Creates Consistent Service, Formalized by Statute

One of the significant benefits of the Uniform Collaborative Law Act is that it provides consistent service throughout the legal system. Clients who enter into a collaborative law service with one lawyer can expect to receive much of the same essential service elements from another lawyer in their area.

While each lawyer will have a different style and approach to the collaborative law process, clients can find comfort in knowing that using the collaborative law process legitimized by statute should be familiar to other lawyers. UCLA provides a dedicated framework of guidelines for lawyers to work under so that every client within the state of Virginia is receiving more or less the same options for finding a solution through the collaborative process.

Protects Clients Through Regulation

The Uniform Collaborative Law Act ensures that everyone involved in the process does so voluntarily. When this service is offered, all parties must agree to participate in the collaborative law process to find a resolution. The UCLA protects parties from mistakenly entering the process or doing so when it isn’t an appropriate option for their case. Setting up a framework of guidelines through the Uniform Collaborative Law Act helps protect clients from being steered in a direction that isn’t in their best interest.

Becoming a Nationwide Practice

While every state has its own governing body, the Uniform Collaborative Law Act is making its way through the nation and proving to be a great piece of legislation. Over twenty states and D.C. have either enacted this law or are currently introducing it in legislation.

The Uniform Law Commission states that Utah was the first state to sign it into law back in 2010, with the following states doing so as well in recent years: Texas, Nevada, Hawaii, District of Columbia, Ohio, Alabama, Washington, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Montana, Arizona, Florida, North Dakota, Illinois, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and North Carolina. Virginia is the newest state to sign this act into law, thanks to HB 1852. Three other states, Colorado, New Hampshire, and Missouri have introduced the bill in 2021.

These states have recognized the benefits of the UCLA, and more states have gotten on board in recent years to help their residents reach solutions via the collaborative law process.

Fewer Court Battles

The collaborative law process is an alternative dispute resolution method that helps families and groups of people, with the benefit of neutral experts, to reach an agreement without going to court. The Uniform Collaborative Law Act helps promote another way that disagreements can be solved without the need for court dates and intimidating courtrooms. Many clients choose collaborative law to stay out of court for as long as possible and keep their own power to make their life decisions.

Helps Save Time and Money

Those involved in a collaborative law service may come to a point where the process is not working for them. The Uniform Collaborative Law Act includes wording that establishes a timeline of when the collaborative process begins and ends. This helps guard against one party wanting to continue the collaborative process while the other does not. Having a firm set of guidelines helps keep everyone on track and can help save time and money when the process is not working anymore for either party involved.

Find Collaborative Law Assistance in Richmond, VA

Many view the passage of the Uniform Collaborative Law Act in Virginia as a significant step in the right direction. Donita King has helped many clients find solutions through a collaborative approach. The recent enactment of the UCLA into law only boosts her ability to provide consistent service to all of her collaborative law clients. For more information about how you can settle a dispute through collaborative law, call the Law Offices of Donita King today!

Donita King

Ms. King is a member of the Virginia, Pennsylvania, and D.C. State Bars. She also serves as a University of Richmond School of Law Adjunct Professor of Mediation. She previously served on the Virginia Bar Association Joint ADR Council (2015 Chair), and served for several years on the Governor of Virginia’s Interagency Dispute Resolution Council. Ms. King currently serves as a board member of the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board by appointment of the Virginia Supreme Court and has been active with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Hispanic Women in Business as well. Se habla espanol.

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