The Need for an Attorney Even when Mediating Out of Court
An attorney is not obsolete during mediation. In fact, they plan an important role in the process. They can consult with you on the best court of action during the session, offer ideas and make sure the final agreement is fair.
You and the other parties will be doing most of the talking during mediation, but you still have the legal right to have an attorney present. To ensure mediation goes as smooth as possible, you should contact an attorney.
Mediating Attorney in Chester County, PA
Mediation is a great way to resolve issues outside of the courtroom. It allows the parties to have more control of the outcome and resolve the issues on their own.
Ciccarelli Law Offices has decades of collective experience helping clients through mediation. We will listen to your story and help you find the best solution to your problem. To schedule a time to speak with Ciccarelli Law Offices, call (610) 692-8700 or submit your information in the online contact form.
Call (610) 692-8700 or send an online message for a free consultation so we can act as soon as possible. We are based in West Chester PA and serve clients throughout Chester County, Lancaster County and suburban Philadelphia including West Chester, Kennett Square, Oxford, West Grove, Paoli, Malvern, Downingtown, Coatesville, Exton, Parkesburg, Berwyn and Devon. We have convenient meeting locations in Lancaster, Philadelphia, Plymouth Meeting, Kennett Square, Malvern, Springfield, King of Prussia, and Radnor. Our family lawyers serve those with immediate legal needs in Chester County, Montgomery County, Delaware County and Lancaster County.
- The Role of an Attorney in Mediation
- Mediation Process
- Disputes Appropriate for Mediation
- Additional Resources
The Role of an Attorney in Mediation
A lawyer’s traditional duty is to represent the interest of his or her client in court. They also counsel their clients and lead them through the complicated legal process. An attorney will still perform these duties during the mediation process, but the manner and the context of them will vary.
There are many roles an attorney can take on during mediations that make them vital to a successful mediation session. Listed below is the purpose of an attorney when mediating out of court:
Before Mediation: An attorney’s job begins before the mediation process even starts. They will assist you in making informed decisions about mediation and encourage you to take responsibility for resolving the dispute. An attorney will also explain the process, what to expect and how mediation can complement court proceedings.
The lawyer will also help you choose a mediator that is best suited for your parties’ case. An attorney will inform you of the laws that are relevant to your case. This will allow you to understand the possible outcomes if the case ends up going to court.
During Mediation: An attorney will continue to advise you during mediation. They will help you understand information that might be worth sharing or asking during the process. An attorney will also inform you of the options that might be available and the potential consequences of those options. They can advise the party on when they should take a break so you can consult with them for additional advice and information.
You and your party are encouraged to take responsibility for finding a solution to the dispute. This will involve you actively participating in discussions with the mediator. It is up to you whether your attorney attends the session. Though it is beneficial, your attorney can still consult with you before and after the session, if you choose not to have them attend.
After Mediation: After the session has consulted, you can sit down with your attorney and review the terms of the mediation agreement. If a partial or full agreement was reached, the attorney from both parties can request for the agreement to be entered as a court order if necessary.
If nothing was agreed upon during the session, your attorney can inform you of the next possible step. This could include additional mediation sessions or litigation.
Mediation is less formal than a trail. The goal of the session is for all parties to agree on a solution to their dispute. Uncovering the truth and imposing laws are not the focus on mediation. In fact, mediators have zero authority to offer legal advice or enforce a decision.
Mediation follows a six-step process. This ensures the session goes as smooth as possible and resolution is found for the issue. These six steps include:
- Opening Statements from Mediator: The mediator will introduce him or herself and explain the rules and goals of the session.
- Opening Statements from Disputants: All parties will be asked to describe the dispute in their own words. Then, they will be asked how the dispute has affected them and if they have any suggestion on how to resolve it.
- Joint Discussions: The mediator will try to get everyone to discuss with one another what was said during opening statements.
- Private Caucuses: Everyone will privately meet with the mediator. They will have the opportunity to discuss with the mediator their position on the issue and their ideas on how to settle it.
- Joint Negotiation: After everyone has spoken with the mediator, they will be brought back together and have the opportunity to negotiate with each other.
- Closure: If all those involved were able to reach an agreement, the mediator will put it in writing. The parties will then be asked the sign the agreement and take it to their attorneys for review.
Disputes Appropriate for Mediation
You may be wondering what disputes can be resolved through mediation. To answer that question, just about any dispute can be handled through mediation. Cases involving criminal matters cannot be resolved through mediation
Examples of disputes that can be resolved through mediation include, but are not limited to:
- Personal injury
- Business disputes
- Family law issues
- Neighborhood disputes
- Contract issues
- Landlord and tenant matters
- Intellectual property disputes
Additional Recourses for mediation in Chester County, PA
Mediation and Arbitration | Pennsylvania Bar Association– View a pamphlet from the Pennsylvania Bar Association to learn more about mediation. The pamphlet answers questions such as why you should choose mediation over litigation and what you can expect from the process.
Voluntary Mediation in Custody Action | PA Rules of Civil Procedure– Child custody is a dispute that is commonly handled through mediation. You can follow this link to read the state statute that defines the qualifications of a mediator, the ruled of mediation and when mediation might be ordered from the court.
Chester County, PA Mediation Attorney
An attorney is not required for mediation, but it is advisable that you have one anyway. They can properly prepare you for the session and advise you on the best course of action.
The attorneys at Ciccarelli Law Offices are experienced with guiding clients through the mediation process. They will make sure you go into the session well prepared and that the final agreement is fair. To schedule a time to speak with Ciccarelli Law Offices, call (610) 692-8700 or submit your information in the online contact form.
We help clients with mediation in southeastern Pennsylvania counties that include Chester County, Lancaster County, Delaware County, Philadelphia County and Montgomery County.