Are You My Attorney?

When two parties agree to Mediation to dissolve their marriage there is only one attorney hired to begin the process. This attorney will meet with both party’s jointly and, as appropriate, individually.

While there is no hard and fast rule as to how long this process takes, typically it will progress more rapidly than if the couple engaged in an adversarial approach.

So, if there is only one attorney, whose attorney is he? The simple answer is this: The attorney is a Neutral. That is, he doesn’t advocate for either party. The Attorney/Mediator/Neutral is there to guide the parties to a resolution that is acceptable to both. The attorney will not advocate for a particular person or position. It is critically important that both party’s recognize that the attorney is a neutral party. If that neutrality is lost, the mediation will not be able to continue.

Part of the training that a mediator goes through is to develop the ability to be neutral in any and all situations. In fact, the Massachusetts rules of ethics for lawyers states that one lawyer cannot represent two people with different interests. Good mediation, and good lawyering, demands neutrality in mediation.

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