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Can the mediator be a previous attorney for one of the

Customer Question
Can the mediator be...

Can the mediator be a previous attorney for one of the clients

Lawyer's Assistant: What state is this in? It matters because laws vary by location.

Iowa

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have been taken so far?

All I need to know is can the mediator be a lawyer who was represented one of the clients

Submitted: 26 days ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 10 hours by:
3/31/2018
Lawyer: Sean K, Lawyer replied 26 days ago
Sean K
Sean K, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 463
Experience: Attorney/Member in Private Law Firm
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Hi, I’m Sean and I will be assisting you as an expert today. I’m an attorney with more than 20 years of experience. It is my goal to provide a solid overview of your situation. Whether the analysis is good or bad as to your matter, I want to make sure you understand any points you need and that you have options to better address the questions you have. If I am able, I will also provide you with some resources. Please note that the system, independent from me, may offer a phone call. You are not obligated to engage in a phone call, but I am happy to speak if you desire. This is completely up to you.

So in Iowa, there are Standards of Conduct for mediators. The question you pose and I want to make sure I have this correct - Can the mediator be a lawyer who represented one of the parties to the mediation - meaning that party A and party B are parties to a dispute that will be submitted to mediation. The mediator previously represented one of the parties, say party A, as a lawyer. The question is can the the lawyer who represented party A serve as the mediator for these parties. Is this correct?

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Lawyer: Sean K, Lawyer replied 25 days ago

In Iowa there there are specific rules that cover this. Chapter 11 of the Iowa Court Rules addresses this. A link to these standards is here.

Specifically two are directly applicable. Rule 11.3 address Impartiality. This rule requires a mediator to be impartial and not mediate if there is any prejudice or bias. It also requires a mediator to, "avoid conduct that gives the appearance of partiality."

Rule 11.4 addresses Conflicts of Interest. This rule requires mediators to avoid conflicts or, more importantly the appearance of conflicts. Specifically, "A conflict of interest that reasonably raises a question of a mediator’s impartiality can arise from a mediator’s involvement with the subject matter of the dispute or from any relationship between a mediator and any mediation participant, whether past or present, personal or professional."

I believe that based on what you set out the mediator should not conduct this mediation.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. There is no specific course of action is proposed and no attorney-client relationship or privilege formed within this conversation.

If you have any follow up questions it would be my pleasure to answer them. As experts we only get credit for the time and effort we spend on our answers if you rate us positively - 5 stars is definitely appreciated but not required! There is no cost associated with you rating me and you can still ask follow up questions after rating me and I will respond.

One final point, there may be a delay between your question and my answer; this is because I'm either not at my computer or helping someone else but rest assured, if you ask, I will provide an answer. Thank you again.

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