On July 1, Gov. Roy Cooper signed the Uniform Collaborative Law Act into law.

The new law, which received bipartisan support, details the Collaborative Law process in North Carolina, establishes this practice as a voluntary process and defines beginning and ending points for Collaborative Law agreements.

John Ong, a Partner based in the Charlotte office of Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP, is a Founding Member of the Board of Directors for the North Carolina Civil Collaborative Law Association and is trained in Collaborative Law.

Collaborative Law has been the focus of the Collaborative Law Committee of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section of the North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA). 

The primary principles of Collaborative Law include:

  • The parties and counsel sign a Collaborative Participation Agreement
  • Open and transparent disclosure of all relevant information.
  • Negotiation based on needs and interests and without the threat of litigation.
  • Parties sitting down face to face, with counsel, to work through their dispute.
  • Privacy and confidentiality.
  • Shared use of neutral experts to provide information.
  • Mandatory attorney withdrawal in the event of impasse.