More lawyers need to become involved in mediation, a group of lawyer and non-lawyer mediators told CAROL COULTER.
…The Chief Justice and many other judges have expressed their support for the wider use of mediation in family law – and, indeed, other – disputes, and provision now exists in the Commercial Court for cases to be adjourned for mediation. The Legal Aid Board has taken steps to increase use of mediation by its solicitors. Yet the proportion of family law cases being mediated remains low, partly because of lingering suspicion of the process among lawyers.
…The other main difficulty is that quite often, parties reach agreement with little or no legal advice, and not knowing what they are compromising. The mediator then draws up a Memorandum of Understanding, which is signed by the parties, and at that stage they are advised to consult their own solicitor. If they have not had advice up to this point, and entered mediation with misconceptions about the family law system, they could find that they are told the proposed agreement is a bad one from their point of view.
Full article [here].
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