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What does advocating for your client look like? While many of us might envision lawyers in dark suits loudly arguing on their client’s behalf in a stark courtroom, the reality is often quieter and involves thorough conversations regarding the individual issues important to each party.
Kelli Byers Hooper is an Atlanta divorce attorney with KBH Law, Inc. In this video, she explains that advocating for your client during mediation doesn’t always resemble the high drama courtroom speeches you see in TV shows. Instead, it’s about bringing everyone back down to earth and making sure everyone’s priorities are understood.
To learn more, contact the attorney directly by calling 888-558-1353 or by submitting a contact form on this page. The consultation is free and confidential, and you owe no out-of-pocket attorney fees.
Byers Hooper compares the impression many people have regarding client advocacy with the impression offered to the public by Perry Mason, a fictional defense attorney from a long-running courtroom drama. While his passionate and moving speeches regarding his clients’ innocence made for great television, this is not truly indicative of the process most people experience when working with an attorney advocating on their behalf. Mediation usually takes place in a closed, quiet environment with only the invested parties and the mediator present.
The mediator is a neutral party, pursuing client advocacy for both sides by asking open-ended questions in an effort to get to the root of the issue and offer a solution that addresses both parties’ main concerns. If the solution suggested by a mediator is not acceptable to one or both parties, further discussions can commence regarding possible compromises, arbitrated by the mediator. This allows both parties to voice their concerns in the presence of a third party, monitoring the situation and offering a calm, knowledgeable presence which can help decrease the overall tension of an inherently tense situation.
The ability to sit down with both sides of an issue and discuss the matters at hand, realistic outcomes, and elements of a decision that are most important to each person is the most effective way to advocate for a client, putting all parties involved through as little stress as possible. This process by which a third party intervenes in a legal dispute to find points of agreement and help the conflicting parties settle on a fair agreement is referred to as mediation. Many states have a mediation requirement in custody cases, even if the parties involved choose to handle the case on their own.
Other types of cases besides custody cases could be subject to this requirement as well, any even more than that could feasibly benefit from skilled mediation. A mediator’s job is not to decide who is right or wrong in a situation, but simply to help both parties come to a palatable agreement. In a custody case, there is the added interest of keeping the child’s well-being at heart. Mediation is extremely useful in any kind of case with the potential to be emotionally charged. This strategy for compromise allows for privacy and a third-party skilled at taking unnecessary emotion out of the equation in order to listen carefully to the needs and concerns of both parties in order to work toward a mutually acceptable solution.
To learn more, contact Kelli Byers Hooper directly by calling 888-558-1353 or by submitting a contact form on this page. The consultation is free and confidential, and you owe no out-of-pocket attorney fees.
Kelli Byers Hooper:
Advocacy is not always a Perry Mason moment. Sometimes advocacy is just being able to have a real conversation and reality check the client, reality check the other side about things that are relevant for the case, and maybe how a judge might rule. So, in mediation, advocacy doesn't look like a lawyer in a suit. It's more about having someone who understands what's important to you and making sure that those things are included in a final agreement.
Disclaimer: This video is for informational purposes only. In some states, this video may be deemed Attorney Advertising. The choice of lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.
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