Referrals for mediation:
I am happy to support you and your clients by acting as a mediator, either before or after court action has been initiated, and with or without counsel present. In many cases, and particularly in the case of transformative mediation in which mediation occurs over several sessions and does not explicitly focus on settlement as a goal, there is not a significant need for the presence of counsel. Parties gain insight into their conflict and agree on mutual goals, and often the agreement comes as a side effect of these deeper level agreements. This is inverse to the more common method used in legal mediations of “resolving” a conflict through reaching a settlement, but their authentic agreement also comes from a deeper level and is less dependent upon legal positions. If one or both parties are represented but counsel is not present for mediation, I will not let parties sign papers or enter into agreement until the terms have been discussed with their attorney.
Often, parties will come to an attorney for what they say is an uncontested divorce, but you soon learn that their agreement is incomplete. Then, you are in the sticky position of dealing as representing counsel with an unrepresented litigant. You can’t give them legal advice, and they know you are not neutral in the case, but neither do you want to escalate conflict or cause them to squander limited client resources by forcing them to become adversarial in a very simple case. I can help in this situation by meeting with the clients as a mediator, to help them reach agreement concerning the terms that were left open. After agreement has been reached, the clients can return to you for what then will, authentically, be an uncontested court action.
Or, have you been appointed as a Guardian or Conservator through the Probate Court? Deescalate conflict from this possibly emotional and difficult family transition by mediating among family members about parameters of care and responsibility. As mentioned elsewhere on my blog, I am trained as an elder mediator and am comfortable with complex mediations involving emotional issues and multiple parties. When families can reach agreement, your job as an attorney is that much simpler.
Assistance with convening mediation:
Are you a mediator yourself and hoping to mediate more cases? Only one in ten cases where parties investigate mediation actually proceed to mediation. Has this happened in your practice? I can try to help you raise that percentage through my service of convening mediations for other mediators.
Referrals for legal work:
If you support the model of non-adversarial conflict resolution, I am also eager to find more attorneys and mediators to whom I can refer either mediation or legal cases. If you have mediated a case and the parties need referral to an attorney who will support them in an uncontested legal action, I will be happy to assist.
Mediation of Appeals and Discovery Disputes
Do you find yourself at war with opposing counsel over a Discovery issue, or are parties spending valuable resources on an appeal where a settlement would be prudent? Mediation truly can be used to reduce and resolve conflict in these areas. Feel free to give me a call and give it a try.
Do you want to learn more about mediation or enhance your skill as a mediator? I will prepare and offer a two-hour CLE on an advanced topic in mediation to your law firm, gratis. (Note that the S.C. Commission on Continuing Legal Education requires that all in-house CLE’s must be attended by at least five attorneys.) Call to discuss topics.