Written by - Mr. Aditya Mathur
(Founding Partner, MediateGuru)
The short answer is … IT’S UP TO YOU. In most mediation, a lawyer’s direct participation is not required. Mediating people are less likely to require an advocate as they are not trying to convince a judge or arbitrator of their point of view instead they are just trying to work together to solve their problem. People can usually handle the process on-their own as mediation rules are few and straightforward. However, if your case involves substantial property or legal rights, you should consult an advocate before the mediation proceedings to learn more about the legal consequences of the possible settlement terms.
If you are considering having an advocate to help in the mediation, first choose whether you want the lawyer only for initial consultation or you want him to counsel you throughout the mediation.
Here are some basic factors, which will help you consider whether you decide what’s right for you and do you need to hire a lawyer in your case? Rather than basing your choice on any one factor, consider them all together.
Finances - Can you afford to keep a lawyer for the entire mediation along with that pay your individual share for a mediator? Per hour fees for lawyers and mediators vary significantly and in most cases fees for your advocate are solely your responsibility and mediator expenses are split between the parties.
Complexity of issue to resolve - What are the main issues in the case? How well are you aware of the responsibilities and entitlements? How complex is your situation? How confident are you in advocating your own case? Are their any other support(spouse, etc) that you would prefer over a lawyer?
Collaboration - How will you feel if the other party bring his/her lawyer and you do not? What is the conflict style of the other party? How willing are they to come to an agreement?
If you have more questions about how to decide whether you should secure legal counsel for your mediation mail us at - email@example.com