Meggin Rutherford, of the Rutherford Law Center, LLC and Vice-President of the Colorado Collaborative Divorce Professionals Association, speaking only for herself, encouraged the commission to consider introducing the Uniform Collaborative Law Act in 2020. The act has been reviewed and approved in its current format by the Colorado Bar Association's (CBA) Family Law Section and is being reviewed by other sections for finalization and presentation to the commission. Collaborative law is a form of alternative dispute resolution that allows families to resolve divorce and dissolution proceedings outside of the courts. The uniform act would help address and clarify concerns of a Colorado legal ethics opinion regarding collaborative law, improve professional standards in Colorado, and increase the visibility of this option for families. Its passage would also be helpful in promoting trust and collaboration amongst the states, 21 of whom have already enacted it.
The commission provided some history on the 2011 act and asked about the legal ethics opinion and any potential CBA language changes. Ms. Rutherford replied that most of the suggested language modifications are to uphold current Colorado law on confidentiality in the proceedings and removing civil litigation language. Marie Avery Moses, Co-chair of the CBA Family Law Section Legislative Committee, affirmed that the section supports this act and that current revisions address limiting the act to family law cases and keeping it within Colorado's laws regarding disclosure and confidentiality. The commission's consensus was to revisit the act and the CBA's progress, including any specific language changes, at the next meeting. The commission expressed appreciation to the CBA for its thoughtful work on this act.