Attorneys in Mediation
As a mediator, I do not insist that my clients use review or consulting attorneys as a matter of course. I feel that the self-determination of the clients in mediation is paramount and that this extends to the decision of whether or not he or she retains an attorney. However, I do recommend that clients seek the advice of an attorney at the very least before signing a Separation Agreement because I think that it is important for clients to get the kind of legal advice that a mediator is not permitted to give.
Also, on very rare occasions, I will insist that a client consult with an attorney if I feel that the person is not understanding the ramifications of an agreement or if I feel that the validity of the agreement might be in question if the person does not have independent counsel.
For the most part, however, I think that if a party to a mediation understands the terms of the agreement, his or her rights under the law and the consequences of executing the agreement, the choice of whether or not to retain counsel lies with the client.