Legal Ethics and Collaborative Practice Ethics

25 Pages Posted: 13 May 2010 Last revised: 17 Jun 2010

See all articles by Robert F. Cochran

Robert F. Cochran

Pepperdine University - Rick J. Caruso School of Law

Date Written: March 16, 2010


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. Cochran demonstrates that CP falls squarely within the ethical behavior parameters for lawyers.

Keywords: collaborative practice, ethics

JEL Classification: K49

Suggested Citation

Cochran, Robert F., Legal Ethics and Collaborative Practice Ethics (March 16, 2010). Hofstra Law Review, Forthcoming, Pepperdine University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2010/7, Available at SSRN:

Robert F. Cochran (Contact Author)

Pepperdine University - Rick J. Caruso School of Law ( email )

24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90263
United States
310-456-4684 (Phone)
310-456-4063 (Fax)

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