If I’m set for mediation in a business dispute, is it a conflict of interest if I had consulted at one time prior to the lawsuit with the attorney who will be mediating?

Asked on August 4, 2015 under Business Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you're not a current client AND the prior consultation was not about the current matter AND no information from or disclosed at the prior consultation is relevant to the current mediation, there is no problem. On the other hand, if the prior consultation was about this matter or information disclosed then is relevant now, then this lawyer should not be the mediator, because he or she is going in with an existing connection to the matter, having given an opinion in the matter, and/or already possessed of information (mediators should go in cold, with only the information provided during the mediation, so as to be fully neutral and even-handed). If there is a prior connection, seek a different mediator.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.