By Barbara J. King
Stepping in again tonight to host the show was Barbara King, family and matrimonial attorney and partner at Tully Rinckey PLLC. Taking on the topic of mediation, she was joined by special guest Jeffrey Cohen, a prominent mediation attorney in the Capital Region.
In my years in the legal profession, I’ve found that many people often confuse the mediation process with what’s known as arbitration. Mediation is a less formalized legal process that is based on self-determination, meaning the two parties involved ultimately make the decisions. This differs from arbitration, wherein an arbitrator will make the decision for the couple, which they must then follow.
As a mediator, Jeff explained that his role is a neutral one, in which he helps his clients make educated choices without bringing any preconceived notions into the mix. He’s had extensive training on how to be completely unbiased, something important to look for in a mediator. There are many benefits to choosing mediation over going to court, including saving time and money. The mediation process is generally much faster than a court proceeding and much less expensive.
While Jeff said nearly 90 percent of his cases have been successful, not every couple is a good candidate for mediation. For instance, couples dealing with domestic violence issues often have an imbalance of power that does not lend itself to the mediation process. Cases in which there is a noticeable financial imbalance are usually not good candidates either.
If you have questions about the mediation process or would like to speak to Barbara King or one of the other attorneys at Tully Rinckey, please call 518-218-7100 or visit our website at www.tullylegal.com.