Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process that aims to resolve legal disputes outside of court. It involves a neutral third party, known as a mediator, who facilitates communication between the disputing parties and helps them reach a mutually acceptable solution. While mediation is designed to be a collaborative process, some people wonder if they need a mediation lawyer to assist them during the session. To clear things up, we thought it would be useful to put together a brief discussion on this topic. In this article, we will explore the role of a mediation lawyer and whether or not one is necessary for your mediation session.
What Is a Mediation Lawyer?
A mediation lawyer is an attorney who specializes in mediation and is trained to represent clients in the mediation process. Unlike a traditional lawyer, a mediation lawyer does not take sides or advocate for their client’s position. Instead, they work with their clients to prepare for the mediation session and help them negotiate a settlement that is agreeable to all parties.
Roles of a Mediation Lawyer
A mediation lawyer can play various roles during the mediation session. Some of the roles include:
1. Advising the Client: A mediation lawyer can advise their client on the legal issues at stake and the potential outcomes of the mediation process. This can help the client make informed decisions during the mediation session.
2. Preparing for the Mediation: A mediation lawyer can help their client prepare for the mediation session by gathering relevant documents and information, analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of their case, and developing a negotiation strategy.
3. Attending the Mediation Session: A mediation lawyer can attend the mediation session with their client and act as a legal advisor. They can help their client communicate effectively with the mediator and the other party, and ensure that their client’s legal rights are protected.
4. Drafting Settlement Agreements: If the parties reach a settlement agreement during the mediation session, a mediation lawyer can draft the agreement and ensure that it is legally binding and enforceable.
Do You Need a Mediation Lawyer?
The decision to hire a mediation lawyer is a personal one and depends on various factors. Here are some things to consider before deciding whether or not to hire a mediation lawyer:
1. Complexity of the Legal Issues: If the legal issues involved in the dispute are complex, it may be beneficial to hire a mediation lawyer who has experience in dealing with such issues. A mediation lawyer can help you understand the legal issues and ensure that your rights are protected.
2. Power Imbalance: If there is a power imbalance between the parties, such as in cases involving an employer and an employee, it may be advantageous to hire a mediation lawyer who can level the playing field and ensure that the weaker party’s rights are protected.
3. Emotional Involvement: If the dispute is emotionally charged, such as in family law cases, it may be beneficial to hire a mediation lawyer who can provide emotional support and help you make rational decisions.
4. Cost: Hiring a mediation lawyer can be costly, and it may not be necessary in all cases. If the legal issues involved are straightforward, and the parties are willing to work together, a mediation lawyer may not be necessary.
While it is not always necessary to hire a mediation lawyer for your mediation session, it can be beneficial in certain circumstances. A mediation lawyer can provide legal advice, help you prepare for the mediation session, attend the session with you, and draft settlement agreements. However, the decision to hire a mediation lawyer depends on the complexity of the legal issues, power imbalance, emotional involvement, and cost. Ultimately, the goal of mediation is to reach a mutually acceptable solution that benefits all parties, and a mediation lawyer can help you achieve that goal.
Do you need help with mediation? Dreyer and Associates is committed to preserving the best interests of families across the Fraser Valley and the Lower Mainland. We have a diverse array of experience across family law, wills and estates, and residential conveyancing; although, family law continues to be our focus. For more questions, reach out to us today!