Limited Scope Representation and Collaborative Law Featured at October Luncheon

Robert Hawley speaks with CDSOC members and guests at its October luncheon. Photo: Diana L. Martinez
Robert Hawley speaks with CDSOC members and guests at its October luncheon. Photo: Diana L. Martinez

Robert Hawley, former Chief Labor Counsel, Deputy Executive Director and then Acting Executive Director of the State Bar of California, addressed members of Collaborative Divorce Solutions of Orange County and guests at the organization’s monthly luncheon on October 11.

Mr. Hawley shared his expertise to a full house luncheon honoring former CDSOC president and dear friend, Tracy McKenney who passed away on September 22, 2016.

Robert Hawley began his legal career as a disciplinary prosecutor for the State Bar.  He then entered private practice for over ten years representing management in labor and employment matters before state and federal courts and administrative agencies.  He served as a member of the State Bar’s Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct (COPRAC) as well as its Chair and Special Advisor, as a hearing officer in the former voluntary State Bar Court, as a frequent MCLE speaker, and as a qualified expert witness in professional responsibility and labor law matters.  Mr. Hawley has taught Professional Responsibility and labor law at various Bay Area law schools for the past twenty-five years, and is currently on the adjunct faculty of Pacific McGeorge School of Law. Mr. Hawley is the recipient of the National Organization of Bar Counsel’s 2014 President’s Award, recognizing lifetime achievement and service in attorney regulation.

Mr. Hawley addressed some sensitive and challenging concerns related to limited scope representation and Collaborative Family Law Practice. Yes, Collaborative practice is an accepted process in family law (both by the local court rules and by the state bar). Yes, it falls under the purview of Limited Scope Representation and, therefore, requires a clear expression of the limits of the representation. Yes, it requires a written and signed agreement to enter into Collaborative practice. And, yes, the disqualification provision is accepted and in compliance with California Rules of Professional Conduct, if the proper disclosures were previously made to the clients.

CDSOC thanks Robert Hawley for answering our questions, for sharing his expertise, and doing it all in such an engaging and entertaining way. We hope his Mini Cooper listens to him soon, at least until his 18 month window expires (a joke shared with those at the luncheon).

This event is an example of the benefits CDSOC provides to its members: substantive training through educational luncheons that give our members tools to implement the same day in their practice. Members also earned one hour of MCLE Ethics unit credit.

If you would like to attend a luncheon and experience the value of CDSOC membership for yourself, contact any board member listed on our About Us Page here who can add you to the Evite list. What a great way to spend a Tuesday lunch hour.