Ethics Committee Formal Opinion #1993-94/4
Practicing Attorney/Marital Mediator Association in Business with Non-Attorney Representation of Mediation Couple
December 8, 1993
RSA 328-C allows an attorney to provide, alone or together with a non-lawyer, marital mediation services without such services becoming legal representation of either party leading to a conflict of interest. ( Rule 1.7).
An attorney acting as a marital mediator for a couple shall not give legal advice to either party and shall so inform both parties. Should any mediation agreement be reached, the attorney mediator should advise each party to have the agreement reviewed by an independent attorney. The attorney mediator may not represent either party or both parties in any aspect of a divorce action. ( NHOp 1989-90/15; NHOp 1990-91/9).
An attorney acting as a marital mediator, however, is prohibited from assisting the couple in processing their divorce through the court system by drafting and filing documents, even though the attorney does not file an appearance in the court proceeding. (NHOp 1989-90/15 NHOp 1990-91/9).
- May a practicing New Hampshire attorney associate with a non-lawyer to provide divorce mediation services as marital mediators governed by RSA 328-C?
- May such attorney/marital mediator perform work for a couple for whom he provided marital mediation by “processing their divorce through the court system on an uncontested basis”.