Do I Need a Lawyer for Mediation?

Photo of Two San Jose workers shaking hands

It’s not required for parties seeking compromise among themselves to hire a third party to assist, such as a mediator or legal counsel. However, when compromise comes to a standstill and either party is unwilling to budge, it may be a good idea to seek mediation. For legal matters, it is recommended to seek the legal counsel of an experienced attorney. An attorney will be able to understand the legal issue and will also be familiar with mediation techniques to help reach a compromise between feuding parties.

Mediation provides a means to reach a compromise without needing a judge or other legal proceedings. The rules are straightforward and most people can go through the process by themselves. Even though you may not require a lawyer to help you through the mediation process, you can request that a mediator be present or involved in the mediation process before making any decisions. This is particularly important to consider for couples who are divorcing and are having trouble with the division of assets or child custody proceedings. Parents in conflict with school districts due to truancy or other juvenile delinquency issues could also benefit from mediation. Mediation could assist in opening up communication between conflicting parties.

When making the decision to hire a lawyer for mediation, consider these traits so you make the best choice. Make sure that the attorney you choose supports mediation and has experience helping people reach compromises, rather than focusing on one party’s win. It’s important in the mediation process to reach a middle-ground and your mediator should understand this. Further, if you’ve got a particular legal issue to deal with, make sure your lawyer is aware or has experience dealing with that specific issue. Some lawyers are trained in mediation and may be a better choice for your legal matter. Having a lawyer who understands that you want to negotiate is key to your success.

If you’re having trouble finding compromise over a legal matter, do your research and contact a mediator to help you successfully negotiate. The lawyers at Needham Kepner & Fish LLP have experience in mediation and can help conflicting parties reach an appropriate compromise.