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What Is the Difference between a Settlement Counsel and a Mediator?

Settlement Counsel are lawyers who focus on negotiating the settlement of a legal dispute. They represent one side only and are therefore partisan. As lawyers, they provide their clients with legal advice.

Mediators, on the other hand, might or might not be lawyers as well. However, when they work as Mediators, they do not represent either side of a dispute; they are neutral. As Mediators, they do not provide legal advice to the mediation participants (the parties and their lawyers), who have jointly hired them.

At mediation, Settlement Counsel negotiate with opposing Settlement Counsel (or litigation lawyers). Each counsel represents his or her own clients. The Mediator’s role is to assist all of the participants in their negotiations with one another.

Settlement Counsel also attempt to resolve cases outside of the mediation process — such as through one-on-one dialogue with other lawyers, attending at Pre-trial conferences and at other meetings and events.

Although our Settlement Counsel also practice as Mediators (and the two roles compliment and inform one another),  they do not perform both roles for the same matter. For example, if we are hired as Settlement Counsel for a client’s case then we can never act as Mediator for that case — and vice versa.

For more information on our Mediators, please click here.

To learn more about our Settlement Counsel, please click here.