The answer to this question really depends on a number of factors. For one, the judge or the mediator may have a strong preference that attorneys not be present or, for that matter, that they attend the mediation.
Likewise, the attorneys themselves may have reasons why they should or should not attend.
As such, how involved a Massachusetts attorney should be in a divorce or family law mediation is really a question that should be discussed between the attorney and the client. However, there are some areas in which an attorney can be helpful before, during and after a mediation.
For example, before a mediation, an attorney can help her client go over what to expect during the mediation process and may even be able to give specific advice tailored to how a particular mediator, or group of mediators, like to handle their cases.
On a related point, an attorney can help a client find a suitable mediator or at least try to steer the case away from a mediator that may prove to be less than ideal for a client’s circumstances. The attorney can also help the client plan talking points, an overall strategy and may even help with the drafting of a brief or letter to the mediator if the mediator requests such a document.
Perhaps most importantly, the attorney can help a client evaluate his legal position carefully. While there are many benefits to reaching a compromise in a family law matter, this does not mean that a Massachusetts resident should have to give in even on points where he has a solid case. On the other hand, it is also important that he be aware of those areas where some negotiation is important.
At the end of the mediation, an attorney can also help finalize the agreement so that it is in proper legal form, adding additional clarifications and details if doing so is appropriate and feasible.