When it comes to arbitration or mediation, the short answer is no, you don't need to hire an attorney. However, since the dispute resolution process is legally binding and may affect your rights, it may be beneficial to consult with a lawyer to prepare and present your case. In most mediations, direct involvement of a legal professional is not necessary, as the parties are attempting to work together to resolve their issue. But if your case involves substantial legal or property rights, you can consult with an attorney before mediation to discuss the legal consequences of the possible terms of the settlement. You may also want to make an attorney's approval a condition of any agreement that comes out of mediation.
Unfortunately, arbitration often works in favor of the most powerful party, such as a large company or employer. Mediations allow interested parties to reach a compromise in the quickest and most civilized way. The Attorney General files civil and criminal lawsuits at the request of other state agencies and, in some circumstances, has the original jurisdiction to prosecute violations of the law without a referral from another agency. This is another reason why people find it helpful to have an attorney who can help level the playing field. If you are considering having an attorney help you mediate, you should look for a lawyer who will truly support the process. A large company might have lawyers dedicated to arbitration and maintain a list of arbitrators who tend to support companies rather than individuals.
If the matter is very complicated or involves a large sum of money, you can consult a lawyer. When you hire an attorney to help you with a mediation, make sure that both of you clearly understand how the fees will be calculated. For information about a specific legal issue affecting you, contact an attorney in your area. In addition, in binding arbitration, you don't have a second chance, or the chance to appeal, if you don't like the outcome. In conclusion, while it is not necessary to hire an attorney for arbitration or mediation, it may be beneficial depending on your situation. Consulting with a lawyer can help ensure that your rights are protected and that any agreement reached is fair and equitable.
It is important to find an attorney who will truly support the process and understand how fees will be calculated.