Representation ( Full or Limited )
Sometimes, there is simply no financial means to retain an attorney on all issues in a case yet a party still wants the assistance of counsel for part of the case. When this happens, the party will represent themselves on some or most of the issues and just retain counsel to help them with specific issues usually of a more complex or emotional nature. This is called partial or “ Limited Scope Representation” and can be a very practical and affordable means to getting vital legal help where it is needed most. In addition, we can provide our clients with as much or as little legal and practical guidance as they wish on the issues they are handling themselves, such as instruction of the applicable law or trends adopted by the court.
Full representation is just as the phrase implies: we serve as your counsel of record on all issues. This means that we are responsible for preparing and filing all necessary court documents, obtaining as much relevant information about the case as possible, keeping track of all court and other procedural deadlines, negotiating with the opposing party or their counsel with the goal of reaching settlement of the issue/case, and settlement failing, to appear in court on your behalf to put forth the merits of your case. This type of representation is seen mostly in high conflict cases, where the parties do not possess equal negotiating skills and bargaining power, or where a party is uncomfortable with assuming responsibility for his or her representation.
Settlement is always our primary goal. As a family law attorney, Ms. Faria strives to keep legal expenses to a minimum, and sees clients through to the end in as quick and efficient manner as possible.
Mediation and Dispute Resolution
There are many ways to resolve legal disputes. Some of these require appearances in court and other do not. One of the most effective ways of Divorce Dispute Resolution outside of court is by a process known as “mediation.” While it is understood that there may be a level of disagreement between the parties at the onset, to be successful the process requires that both parties ultimately want to settle their matter fairly and equitably.
The Mediator, preferably an experienced and trained Mediation Attorney, is retained by the parties as a “neutral” to help them reach agreement on specific issues. This means that the Mediator does not represent either party. Rather, each party represents him or herself in “propria persona” (pro per). The attorney mediator, will usually advise the parties as to the law pertaining to their particular set of facts, point out as many options and forseeable consequences of any one option or another, and then assist them in reaching a fair and equitable solution. Once an agreement is reached, the Mediator prepares the Marital Settlement Agreement and all other documents necessary for filing with the court.
Another form of Alternate Dispute Resolution is referred to as “Collaborative Law.” This is not a separate body of law, but rather a specialized way of handling “moderately” contested cases. In this environment, each party has his or her own attorney but have agreed to settle the case outside of court. Here the parties and their counsel work together, sharing ideas and information, in order to create a solution that works best for both parties. Often outside professionals are called upon to provide helpful information, such as counselors, therapists, accountants, or actuaries. The attorneys then work together to prepare all documents for filing with the court. The incentive to find the solution outside of court is strong, in that if the parties are unable to reach agreement, each must dismiss his or her counsel, and retain new counsel to proceed with the matter in court.