If the ADR is neutral why do I need a lawyer?

If the ADR or Mediation is neutral why do I need a lawyer?

Our Co-founder, Sarah J. Jacobs, talks about the role of the attorney in the Alternative Dispute Resolution Process, and what to expect from him or her.

A frequent inquiry that we receive with regard to what mediation and litigation is: If mediation is a process where there are supposed to be a neutral party helping to facilitate a resolution between two clients, why would one or both of them also will need a lawyer at the same time? It is important to understand that a mediator when acting as a neutral third party, is not acting as an advocate for either one of those litigants or clients. They are looking to help create an environment where there is communication, cooperation at the foster resolution.

The mediator is not allowed nor should be providing legal advice to either one of the parties or explaining to one of the parties how his or her decision could impact them from a litigation standpoint.

It is important for the clients who are participating in mediation to at least have consulted middle lawyer, either prior to or during the course of the mediation process so he or she understands what is in his or her best interest and to make sure that he or she knows the decisions that they are making so that they can rationally choose what is the best course of action.

Review Attorney for Memorandum of Understanding or Settlement Agreement

Also, lawyers can be helpful in the mediation process when an agreement is created if a mediator types up with someone is a memorandum of understanding or even drafts what is known as a settlement agreement. It is important to have what is called a review attorney. Each litigant has the opportunity to bring that document to a lawyer, have the lawyer review it from an independent standpoint to review the language, to explain what the language means to either party and to basically explain to the client this is the decision that you come to, and here it is how it impacts you legally. It is very encouraged in the ADR world to have attorneys either part of the process or reviewing the document at the end of the scene.

Get in Touch with Our ADR and Mediation Attorneys to Protect Your Rights Today

The experienced attorneys of Jacobs Berger strive to find solutions that not only specifically meet our clients’ unique needs and concerns, but in a manner which protects your financial stability, and the stability of your family life as well.

To discuss your options for Alternative Dispute Resolution during your divorce, and how we can help you and guide you resolve your family law or divorce issues, schedule your confidential case assessment by filling our online form or by calling our Morristown, NJ office at (973) 710-4366.

About the Author:

Sarah Jacobs is dedicated to protecting the interests of clients in family law proceedings. Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney, and Qualified as a Mediator, Sarah possesses nearly 20 years of experience practicing law throughout the State of New Jersey. Together with partner Jamie N. Berger, Esq. their boutique Morristown family law firm is managed with the goal of providing high-quality service tailored to each client's individual needs. In her capacity as both a family law mediator and litigator, Sarah works with negotiation-minded clients in a cooperative setting. She is also a skilled litigator with the knowledge needed to take even the most complex cases to court, if necessary.

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