Most mediation sessions don’t require an attorney, but there are some cases in which you may want to speak with an attorney.
In a lot of mediation sessions, you don’t need their direct involvement. Individuals who are mediating are less likely to need an advocate since they are attempting to work collectively to solve their issues — not trying to persuade a judge or arbitrator of their outlook. Since mediation guidelines are few and straightforward, individuals can usually manage the process on their own without too much hassle. When your case includes significant properties or legal rights, nevertheless, you might want to consult with a lawyer prior to the mediation to discuss the legal repercussions of possible settlement conditions. You might also want to make getting a lawyer’s consent a condition of any agreement made in mediation.
The Right Attorney
If you’re considering having a lawyer help you with meditation, you should search for an attorney that whole heartedly supports the process. Regrettably, a lot of lawyers appreciate their role as advocates, and find it challenging to switch gears to focus on assisting individuals in working out a negotiated solution.
The type of attorney you select is also subject to if you want the lawyer to counsel you during mediation or are only interested in a preliminary consultation. The lawyer’s character and attitude towards DIY law isn’t going to make much difference when coming down to legal advice, but it can mean a significance difference if you are mostly concerned in having the lawyer instruct you on a continual basis.
If you do need a law guide, you should make it completely clear from the initial interview that you wish to work with an attorney that understands and backs mediation. Meaning an attorney that accepts that mediation at times involves compromise and that what you settle for in mediation can be impacted by, but should not be established only by, what the lawyer predicts a judge or jury could give. For instance, you might inform a potential lawyer that you want them to assist you in preparing for your mediation, but you don’t expect them to come to your actual sessions. Additionally, you might also ask the attorney to be available to go over any written settlement agreement prior to you signing it.
Questions to Ask the Attorney Prior to Mediation
In a time when a lot of lawyers are underemployed, there is always the risk that a lawyer that wants your business is going to say that “of course” they support mediation, when in reality, the lawyer has a somewhat negative outlook. To further investigate ask the below questions:
Has the Attorney ever collaborated with clients undergoing mediation?
If the answer is yes, what did they think of the process? Was it a success or failure for the client? The way lawyers speak about their previous experiences through mediation typically uncovers if they really support and appreciate the process or think it’s a wild goose chase. For instance, many lawyers that have handled a couple of mediated cases that didn’t settle could be negative about the outcome (“I told them it wouldn’t work, but they didn’t listen”). Luckily, many other lawyers emerge from mediation with an understanding and appreciation for the process, regardless of if a specific case gets settled.
Was the Attorney trained in mediation?
There are two kinds of “mediation training” that a lot of lawyers take nowadays. The first one is getting trained to be an actual mediator; the other is training on how to represent clients successfully during the course of a mediation. Each of them demonstrates an interest in mediation but, of them, you should probably gravitate toward an that who has taken the second kind of training: It illustrates a more serious professional wants to assist clients throughout the mediation process. This is specifically true when the training to be a mediator was particularly limited and the attorney did not have to pay for it.
When hiring a lawyer to assist you with mediation, make sure both of you understand clearly how fees are going to be calculated. Don’t expect any particular cost break simply because you are mediating. A lot of lawyers are going to charge you their standard hourly rate. The key is to determine, in advance, when and how the attorney is going to help you. For instance, if the lawyer says it is going to take three hours to counsel you on the legal facets of your case in advance and an additional three hours to go over and discuss any suggested written settlement, you’ll know that your is going to be six times the attorney’s hourly fee, unless, by all means, you call the lawyer in the course of the mediation and ask for additional guidance.
Where to Find an Attorney
A good asset for locating an attorney experienced in mediation is Nolo’s Lawyer Directory. Their directory offers an extensive profile for each lawyer that notifies you about their knowledge and training, and probably most important, the lawyer’s overall school of thought about practicing law. For additional information, go to www.nolo.com.
Another way is to speak to people you know that may have used the type of attorney you are looking for. This compromises of your personal network of friends, family members, and colleagues in addition to people at your place of worship, children’s school, health club, or amateur baseball team. When someone you know and respect for having good common sense can recommend an attorney that has handled a legal issue that’s comparable to yours, you’re most likely on the right track.
Nolo. (2021, February 12). Mediation: Do you still need a lawyer? www.nolo.com. Retrieved November 15, 2021, from https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/mediation-do-you-need-lawyer-29974.html.
Speak with Our Mediators in Arizona Today
While the mediation process is not for everyone, it can save you money, stress, and hassle. Speak with a professional mediator to find out if it is right for you.
If you’re ready to start your consultation with Ogborne Law, visit our Mediation Consultation request page.