Mediation: an alternative for handling client-lawyer disputes

When you hire a lawyer, you expect them to help fix an issue. You do not expect or need them to add more problems to your situation. It can be frustrating when your attorney does not meet your expectations, does not return your calls or emails, or misunderstands your needs. Your knee-jerk reaction may be to file a legal malpractice suit. However, there are other things you can consider before taking extreme measures.

In mediation, a neutral mediator is hired to help two people work through disputes and resolve communication issues in, for example, a divorce case. This same concept can be used for a client-lawyer dispute. It is often less expensive than litigation and offers both sides the opportunity to work through their dispute without taking legal action.

A mediator could help communication

If your encounter with your lawyer has been less than satisfactory, you may consider bringing in a mediator to discuss your issues. Mentioning to your lawyer that you have or are considering a lawsuit against them before having that conversation with a mediator may escalate the situation and cause even more frustration on both sides.

Taking this step first may help eliminate stress and confusion. You can meet with them face-to-face, and both sides can voice their concerns or explain their actions. Mediation may also help preserve your client-lawyer relationship if you still have an open case with them or if you might need them in the future.

Just because you are not happy with the results or communication you are getting from your attorney does not mean you should file a malpractice lawsuit against him or her. Finding a way to have a conversation may relieve stress and possibly resolve your issues without wasting time and money.

 

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