There is no doubt that a family law mediator does a thankless job. Bringing about mediation or an alternate dispute resolution for the couples having trouble getting along is certainly a tough task.
So What Does A Mediator Do?
Simply put, a mediator is a neutral facilitator who assists the parties in a dispute in communicating and negotiating a mutually agreed settlement out of court. A mediator’s role is very sensitive because he often deals in family mediation. A family mediator is sought, most importantly, because the parties in question find the mediator as impartial, and so they heed to his advice and dialog.
What makes a family law mediator so successful? Does he or she have some special attributes? Yes, a thriving family law mediator has the following qualities.
This is singularly the most important feature of a mediator. It is impossible to work as a family law mediator unless he or she has the trust of the parties. The reason is not far to seek. The parties know they have no choice in choosing a judge during arbitration proceedings, but mediation offers them the luxury of picking a mediator in whom they have explicit trust. Obviously so, because during arbitrations in court, the proceedings are held in open in front of the arbiter or the judge. Whereas in mediation the parties confide with the mediator in close doors very often in one-to-one meetings. They have to, as this is the only tool by which a mediator can get to know the common platform on which a mutually agreeable solution can be reached.
Neutral at all times
Family mediation requires that the mediator should never give an impression that he or she is leaning favorably toward one of the parties. It is the neutrality that reinforces trust.
The faith reposed by the parties when the family law mediator is appointed should never be transient. It should be applicable even after the mediation proceedings are over. In fact, neutrality is that overt act that binds the mediator and the parties.
One of the key reasons why parties choose mediation over court proceedings is that mediation does not wash dirty linen in public. Moreover, if it is trade mediation, the parties would not want the trade secrets out in public. During mediation, the parties divulge a lot of personal and sensitive details to the mediator with an implicit faith that confidentiality will be maintained at all costs.
When it comes to listening, a mediator has an edge over courts. Courts have no time to listen to the emotional baggage of the aggrieved as they are far too busy finding solutions within the framework of law. Emotions are of no consequence to the courts. But mediation is different. A mediator listens patiently to all the outpours of the party because this is where the mediator can fish for solutions. Emotional outbursts throw hints showing where the common agreement platform is.
Mediation is an art, and nobody knows this better than a family law mediator. At the end of the day, a mediator reaches a mutually agreed settlement based on his unique skills born out of a potpourri of knowledge, wisdom, and intelligence.
Family law is the term given to the law practice area covered by a family attorney. The issues these lawyers mostly deal with involve legal relationships between and among spouses, children, and domestic partners. The lawyer who specializes in family laws need to have knowledge regarding a range of issues, right from child custody problems, visiting rights of a parent, domestic violence cases, divorce cases, issues involving juveniles, property rights, support obligations, foreign relatives to adoption rights. However, family law can vary from state to state.
In family law, the lawyers come across a number of different situations. In property division cases for example, the common understanding is court divides the property equally but, if you are in Texas, courts there believe in the “just and right” attitude. They weigh both the party’s situation and rights and then they give away the final decision.
Sometimes if there is an involvement of children, the property might be divided unequally. If the case at hand us about divorce, Texas courts would first resolve the issue on properties, child custody and support. This does not take a very long time, however, as these are done all at the same time. In lawyer speak, this is what they call as “no bifurcation”.
There are many ways by which you can get in touch with a Texas family lawyer, the most common of which is online. There are a number of online directories that could give you contact details of family lawyers in your area. You can also ask for referrals from your family and friends.
When looking for a lawyer, you have to take into consideration several issues, one of which is the area of expertise of the lawyer.
Check whether the lawyer you have in mind has a solid background in the area of your problem. Keep in mind that family lawyers can indulge in different types of cases. Do not be ashamed to ask them how long they have been practicing family law, and if he or she has handled a case similar to yours as well as what the outcome was. Check also what strategy they have in mind for your case. It is also advisable that you discuss financial matters with him or her before getting their services. This would include the mode of payment, hourly rates, and miscellaneous expenses (telephone calls, faxes, photocopies, etc.). That way, you have time to prepare yourself financially. Some lawyers would also allow you to negotiate directly with your spouse while some would even suggest that you undergo a marriage counselling first. You should also note where you could get in touch with them in cases of emergency.
With more than eighty-six thousand attorneys licensed to practice law in Florida, finding the right criminal defense attorney in the Sunshine State can be daunting. If you’ve been accused of a crime and need a highly skilled attorney to come to your defense, here are two simple guidelines for finding the best Florida criminal defense attorney for your case.
Get a Referral
Begin your search for a criminal defense attorney licensed to practice law in Florida by doing one of two things: ask business colleagues or friends for referrals, or make use of lawyer referral services.
If the crime of which you are accused involves professional behavior (white collar crime) request a referral for legal counsel from a trusted business colleague. Representing a defendant against this type of charge takes special skills; the business community is often the best place to learn which attorneys are respected in this milieu.
In most criminal cases, an arrest has already taken place.
If that’s the case and you called upon your corporate attorney or a lawyer not skilled in criminal defense to arrange your release, ask them to suggest a firm specializing in criminal law.
For cases involving a specific industry, you could also ask the head of an industry organization what attorney provides their legal services. Whether you’re in need of a Miami lawyer to defend you against embezzlement charges or a Fort Lauderdale attorney for your professional liability case, there are others in your industry who have faced the same situation. Take advantage of their experience to find the most qualified criminal defense attorney.
When unable to secure a referral from a colleague or friend, turn to organizations that make information about Florida attorneys available to the public.
Examples of these are: the Florida Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service, the lawyer search feature at Lawyers.com, and other Florida lawyer referral sites that verify the qualifications of attorneys they list.
Look for Experience
Speaking of qualifications, never assume that someone giving a referral has thoroughly vetted the recommended attorney. Do your own research. It’s essential to have experienced representation when facing a criminal charge.
Call the attorney’s office and ask them to describe their previous experience with similar cases. Has the lawyer been successful in criminal defense cases in Florida? Does he or she have experience with your industry and type of alleged crime?
Once you’ve narrowed down your search to a potential attorney, make an appointment to review your criminal case. Pay attention to how well the two of you communicate and ask exactly how he’ll proceed in representing you. You should leave that meeting comfortable that you’ll receive the best defense possible. If red flags appear during this initial meeting, for example, an overly busy schedule that promises you’ll be pushed to the back burner, pay them for their time and keep looking.
Just as you would never allow an unskilled or disinterested doctor to treat your illness, avoid allowing panic over a criminal charge to shortcut your research when selecting a criminal defense attorney in Florida. The potential impact on your personal and professional life of a criminal conviction should motivate you to find the best legal defense possible. Choose an attorney with proven experience, a communication style compatible with your own and a clear plan for your representation.