914.946.0848  .  contact  .  map & directions  .  subscribe  . 

The Diametric View of Attorney vs Mediator

April 3, 2019  | 

{3:30 minutes to read} There are two diametrically opposed views as to the value of an attorney versus a mediator. In terms of settling a matrimonial matter, each believes the other is not necessary.

“There is no need for a mediator.”

Some matrimonial attorneys believe that two attorneys can negotiate for the parties and reach a settlement — why the need for a third party? After all, attorneys have been settling cases forever, and it works.
 
My response is that while it’s absolutely correct that attorneys can work together to reach a settlement, that doesn’t obviate the benefits of a mediation. Some reasons why a mediator adds value are:  
 
  • Not all attorneys are collaborative, and some take their charge of a zealous advocacy to the extreme. They may settle cases, but they may also refuse to acknowledge any merit to the other party’s position. And if the client is similarly unwilling to engage in meaningful understanding in an interest-based discussion, then the likelihood of reaching a substantially mutual agreement is diminished. 
  • Since most negotiations take place between attorneys, clients are left out, which compromises their right to make good decisions for themselves.
  • The costs are much higher and the process can be considerably longer.

“There is no need for an attorney.”

The underlying premise in this viewpoint is that the parties are fully capable of making up their own minds. An attorney, especially if the attorney is a litigator, will just come in and “muck up” the whole process by creating disharmony and making issues where none exist.
 
My experience is that in many circumstances, the mediation process benefits from the input of attorneys, but like all else in mediation, it is up to the individual client to decide if he/she wants an attorney.
 
Some of the benefits of having input from an attorney are: 
 
  • Some clients need help in advocating for themselves. 
  • In cases in which a client knowingly relinquishes a right, it would help to ensure that the agreement would be upheld if that party later tried to void it. 
  • A mediator cannot provide legal advice, so certain clients may benefit from an attorney consultation for advice, as well as help in terms of proposals that could be made.

If clients are truly committed to the terms of an agreement, no attorney should be able to dissuade them. If the client is susceptible to an attorney’s derailment of the agreement, then I would question the client’s commitment to the terms of the agreement in the first place.

In my view, two attorneys most definitely can settle a matrimonial dispute, but that is not anything like the process of mediation. I believe that the mediation process has benefits that cannot be achieved in an adversarial environment. I also believe that an attorney can have a positive role, even if the attorney is not someone who is committed to the practice of mediation, and that it is up to the client to decide with whom to consult. 

Clare Piro Attorney and Mediator

Attorney & Mediator
500 Mamaroneck Avenue | Suite 320
Harrison, NY 10528
Tel: 914.946.0848

Email »

Comments
Search
Topics
Mediation (74) | Divorce (72) | Divorce Mediation (19) | Mediator (13) | Conflict (9) | Litigation (8) | Child Support (8) | Separation Agreement (7) | Clare A. Piro (6) | Consultation (6) | Collaborative Divorce (6) | Clare A. Piro Mediation (6) | Separation (5) | Communication (5) | Settlement (4) | Parenting (4) | Children (4) | Attorney (4) | Family (4) | Finances (4) | Divorce Mediator (3) | Mediation Myths (3) | Clients (3) | Clare Piro (3) | Divorce And Children (3) | Divorce Finances (3) | Child Support Standards Act (3) | Marital Assets (3) | Co-Parenting (3) | Expenses (3) | Equitable Distribution (3) | Spouse (2) | Informed Decisions (2) | Separate Property (2) | Child Support Standards Act (CSSA) (2) | Listening (2) | Compromise (2) | Mediate (2) | Pandemic (2) | Relationships (2) | Truth (2) | Custody (2) | Legislation (2) | Assets (2) | Marital Property (2) | Seperation (2) | Marital Home (2) | Mediation Benefits (2) | Parenting Plan (2) | Calculating Support (2) | Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) (2) | Step-Mother (2) | Post-Divorce Income (2) | Agreement (2) | Unrequited Love (2) | Anger (2) | Bitterness (2) | Step-Father (2) | Step-Children (2) | Apology (2) | Mediation Versus Litigation (2) | Moving Forward (2) | Conflict During Mediation (2) | Settlement Agreements (2) | College Expenses (2) | CSSA (2) | Couples (2) | Time To Process (1) | Patience (1) | Financial Documents (1) | Financial Information (1) | Mental Health Professional (1) | Marriage Counseling (1) | Lawyer (1) | Fear Of Separation (1) | Family Law Software (1) | Budgets (1) | PostNup (1) | Post Nuptial (1) | Dividing House Asset (1) | FamilyMediation (1) | MediationSession (1) | AttorneyPresence (1) | Blended Families (1) | Attitudes (1) | Significant Other (1) | LawyerDivorceMediation (1) | Matrimonial Dispute (1) | Separation Agreements (1) | Spouses (1) | Anxiety (1) | Work Stress (1) | Perfection (1) | Holiday Preparations (1) | Family Enrichment (1) | Remarriage After Divorce (1) | Cash Flow (1) | Interest Payments (1) | Buyer (1) | Seller (1) | Reluctant Spouse (1) | Telling Your Spouse (1) | Equity Loan (1) | Refinance (1) | Accepting Responsibility (1) | Taking Responsibility (1) | Ex-Spouse (1) | Court Process (1) | Divorce Assets (1) | Emotional Attachment (1) | Frame Of Mind (1) | Equitable Distribution Statute (1) | Guilt (1) | Power Of Regret (1) | Separating (1) | Divorce Agreement (1) | Parental Holiday Sharing (1) | Holiday Season (1) | Couples Counseling (1) | Understood (1) | Remain Healthy (1) | Maggie O’Connor (1) | Lack Of Communication (1) | Unhappy Relationship (1) | Heard (1) | Cultural Holidays (1) | Religious Holidays (1) | Children And Divorce (1) | Co-parenting (1) | Equal Parenting Plan (1) | On-Duty Parent Responsibilities (1) | Transition Day (1) | Parenting Schedules (1) | 50/50 Parenting (1) | Mediating Virtually (1) | Mediating Onine (1) | Technical Difficulties (1) | Agreement To Mediate (1) | Caucus (1) | Global Pandemic (1) | COVID19 (1) | Attitudes Toward Prenups (1) | Asset Distribution (1) | Collaborative Process (1) | Prenuptial Agreement (Prenup) (1) | Financial Professional (1) | Fiancé (1) | Marital Concerns (1) | Prenuptial Agreement (1) | Needs Vs Wants (1) | Negotiation (1) | Court Vs Mediation (1) | Emotions (1) | Prenup (1) | But (1) | Apologizing (1) | Multiple Assets (1) | FinancialPortfolio (1) | Custody Disputes (1) | Matrimonial Cases (1) | Court Order (1) | Complicated Finances (1) | Mediation Misconceptions (1) | Meditate (1) | Property Distribution (1) | Coronavirus (1) | Maintaining Calm (1) | Social Distancing (1) | Entitlement (1) | Temporary Agreement (1) | Dogs (1) | Agreements (1) | Adopt Shelter Dogs (1) | Older Dogs (1) | Effects On Family (1) | Budget (1) | New York (1) | 2015 (1) | Year In Review (1) | Blame (1) | Advice (1) | Self-talk (1) | Living Together (1) | Living Apart (1) | Summer (1) | Marriage (1) | Kids (1) | School Year (1) | Power (1) | Resolution (1) | Scarcity (1) | Baby Boomers (1) | Grandparents (1) | Divorce Law (1) | Abundance (1) | Mindfulness (1) | Equality (1) | Holidays Post-Divorce (1) | Holiday Blues (1) | Alone At The Holidays (1) | Consulting Attorney (1) | Post-Divorce Dating (1) | Scared Of Divorce (1) | Fear Of Divorce (1) | Parenting Post-Divorce (1) | Parenting Plans (1) | Joint Physical Custody (1) | Moving On After Divorce (1) | Halloween (1) | Finding Love After Divorce (1) | House (1) | Self Determination (1) | Self-determination (1) | New York State (1) | Control (1) | Balance (1) | Difficult Clients (1) | Change (1) | Equity (1) | Mental Health (1) | Specialist (1) | Relocation (1) | Acknowledgement (1) | Conflicy (1) | Spousal Support (1) | Life Insurance (1) | Beneficiary (1) | Therapy (1) | Dreaming (1) | Settlement Term (1) | Divorce Coach (1) | Lack Of Trust (1) | Accusations Of Delay (1) | Financial Costs (1) | Joint Account (1) | Settle Agreement (1) | Intervention (1) | Custodial Parent (1) | Personal Relationships (1) | Settlement Agreement (1) | Public Trust (1) | Lies (1) | Little White Lies (1) | Married (1) | Affair (1) | Financial Situation (1) | Husband (1) | Wife (1) | Bankruptcy (1) | Tentative Agreements (1) | Permanent Agreement (1) | Parents (1) | Disclosure (1) | Contribution (1) | College (1) | Nesting (1) | Moving On (1) | Responsibility (1) | Extremes (1) | Fall (1) | Payments (1) | Seperation Agreement (1) | Unemployment (1) | Compassion (1) | Hurricane Harvey (1) | Negative Communication (1) | Divorce Papers (1) | Joint Decision Making (1) | Joint Legal Custody (1) | Installment Agreements (1) | Retirement Account (1) | Maritial Assets (1) | Married Couples (1) | Commingling (1) | Transmutation (1) | Maritial Property (1) | Dishonest (1) |
Connect

Online Mediation Available

In response to COVID-19 I am providing family and divorce mediation services online. Click to learn more.