Rachel Green, Brooklyn NY 01/20/05
Attorneys attending mediation
In private mediation in NY, attorneys rarely attend mediation sessions. Although I often mention this option, if it appears to me that someone is having trouble expressing their needs fully, in my 10 years of work as a mediator, only one person has chosen to bring an attorney to the actual mediation session.
More often, attorneys work outside the process as consultants, to help participants understand their legal rights, and to help them strategize to negotiate more effectively during mediation sessions.
Jim Melamed, Eugene OR 01/20/05
One of the really nice things about divorce mediation is that there is an expectation, usually, that it will not all get done in a single meeting. Usually it takes 3-9 meetings, with perhaps 5-7 being the norm.
This allows participants to, usually, gain their legal and other desired advice between meetings, in a more relaxed, capable and affordable way.
Sometimes, attorneys will come to the mediation on a certain issue or set of issues. This can be effectively tailored in divorce mediation given the number of meetings.
In other areas of mediation, there is sometimes an expectation of resolving things in a single day. In this context, a stronger argument can be made for attorney participation during a good portion or throughout those mediations. And, when attorneys are there, they tend to be allocated the representational role.
So, there is a full range in attorney participation depending both on the nature of the matter and expected number of discussions.
Intriguingly, augmenting face to face discussions with Internet communications may help to capacitate mediation discussions in an ever more convenient and affordable way.
victoria subin, katonah ny email@example.com 01/20/05
Are lawyers for both parties present at all mediation meetings?