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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: June 20, 2017 01:25 PM
From: Representative Kate A. Klunk
To: All House members
Subject: Pennsylvania Collaborative Law Act (PCLA)
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that will create a uniform standard of practice for collaborative law in Pennsylvania.

Collaborative law is a voluntary alternative dispute resolution process for parties who seek resolution of their legal matter outside of the courtroom. The use of collaborative law to settle a dispute is entirely voluntary and cannot be court ordered. One of the hallmarks of collaborative law is the fact that the parties are individually represented every step of the way by separate counsel who are dedicated not only to their respective clients’ interests, but also to resolving the dispute without resorting to litigation. The other hallmark of collaborative law is the fact that the parties agree at the outset of the process that, should they fail to negotiate a resolution, they will each be required to retain new counsel for any subsequent litigation.

Collaborative law is being practiced in virtually every state in the United States, and more than 24 countries. The legislation is based on the Uniform Collaborative Law Act (UCLA), which was drafted by the Uniform Law Commission (ULC). Since 2009, seventeen states have adopted the UCLA, either in its entirety or a modified version.

My legislation would further mainstream collaborative practice in Pennsylvania as a meaningful alternative to traditional litigation or other alternative dispute resolution methods such as arbitration or mediation. I encourage you to consider co-sponsoring this important legislation.

If you have any comments, questions or concerns regarding this legislation, please contact my office at (717) 787-4790.

Thank you.

Introduced as HB1644