The Washington State Court of Appeals, Division II, held recently that a CR2A agreement was binding on both parties, when, at different times, each party had moved to enforce it.
Court Rule 2A (“CR2A”) provides that the court will not enforce an agreement between the parties unless it is made in open court on the record, or unless it is in writing and signed by the attorneys. CR2A agreements are commonly used to memorialize agreements made during mediation or other Alternative Dispute Resolution.
The case, Marriage of Teresa Grimsley-LaVergne and Mark A. LaVergne, No. 37731-4-II arose from a drawn-out dissolution process that began in 2001 and ended in 2009. During that process, in 2004, the parties engaged in an eleven-hour marathon mediation with a professional mediator. Pursuant to that mediation, the parties signed a CR2A agreement.
In this case, the CR2A agreement was hard to read. It was scribbled and interlineated. Sections were scratched out and then sometimes reinserted. Nonetheless, it was signed and it contained language indicating that the parties agreed to it and thought it was fair and equitable.
The night after the mediation, the parties had sex and conceived twins. For the next three years, they lived together and appeared to have reconciled. Nonetheless, the parties also executed at least some of the provisions of the CR2A agreement and, at different times, attempted to enforce it.
In 2009, the Husband attempted to set aside the CR2A agreement because, he claimed, the parties had reconciled. The trial court, after a two-day trial, denied the motion. The Husband appealed. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court, holding that, by moving to enforce the CR2A agreement, the parties had waived their right to appeal its enforceability.