Is an Attorney-Mediator Better Than a Non-Attorney-Mediator By Don Sinkov{2:06 minutes to read} A couple—who had been in litigation for 5 years—called me. They said they saw me for a free consultation in 2011. Did I remember them?


At that time, the husband had picked me from my website, and the wife didn’t like the husband choosing the mediator. She said, “I will choose the mediator. I want a mediator who is an attorney because they will do a better job.”

The couple met with the attorney-mediator the wife had chosen, and the mediator helped them with negotiations. He drafted their Settlement Agreement and filed the legal paperwork with the court. BUT, the mediator omitted waiver language for the wife’s business, and that is why they have been in court for the past 5 years.

Now, before I get negative comments about whether attorney-mediators can be effective mediators—yes, they can. There are some really good attorney-mediators out there, but there is a greater number of attorneys with little or no mediation training marketing themselves as mediators.

Historically, mediators and arbitrators were never attorneys. Mediation and arbitration conducted by non-attorneys were always the alternative to hiring attorneys and going to court. Mediations were conducted by the heads of tribes. In many Celtic tribes, the tribal head was often a woman.

Imagine that!

When choosing a mediator, check their credentials and ask how many successful mediations they have completed. Meet them for a free consultation to see if this is someone you can work with.

When I checked the mediator the couple hired, he was an attorney-litigator who had no mediation credentials. Mediation wasn’t even listed as a service on his website. Go figure!

About Don Sinkov

Don Sinkov Your Divorce Mediator Westchester County, NY Putnam County, NY Phone: (914) 588-6258 eMail: