The Role of the Review Attorney in Mediation

//The Role of the Review Attorney in Mediation

The Role of the Review Attorney in Mediation

The Role of the Review Attorney in Mediation by Deborah E. KaminetzkyMediation clients often ask: why do I need a review attorney? Mediation is becoming ever more popular as people realize the value of having help in making decisions about their split; however, they do not want to “lawyer up” and risk having an adversarial situation. The mediator does not represent either party and will be able to assist the parties in coming up with solutions that work for their situation. A mediator with knowledge of business and finances can also help ensure that each party will be able to start over with as much of a financial cushion as possible.

After the mediation process results in an agreement, both parties have the opportunity to have an attorney review the agreement and advise them as to whether the agreement is favorable for them or not. The role of the review attorney is to review the agreement, and discuss with the client how they might fare under the law. For instance, they will point out whether the maintenance provisions in the agreement sync with the maintenance guidelines, whether the equitable distribution is in fact equitable, and where the client may have given up something they were entitled to, but received something else in return that they might not have been entitled to.

When they refer their clients to review attorneys, mediators tend to send them to “mediation friendly” lawyers who understand that the person for whom they are reviewing the agreement wanted to stick with mediation, rather than have a lawyer tell them “I can get you more.” Most review lawyers will give you a written summation of the parts of the agreement they would like changed on your behalf. When both parties have had the agreement reviewed, they generally go back to their mediator with the comments from their review attorney. Then the mediator can proceed to finalize the agreement and finesse the outstanding issues as pointed out by the review attorneys. This ensures that each party can sign the agreement with the confidence that they have an agreement they can live with.

Deborah E. Kaminetzky


Deborah E. Kaminetzky, Esq.
Kaminetzky Law & Mediation, P.C.
132 Spruce Street
Cedarhurst, New York 11516
Phone: 516.374.0074

By | 2019-05-14T21:10:47+00:00 April 26th, 2018|Mediation|0 Comments

About the Author:

Deborah E. Kaminetzky
Deborah E. Kaminetzky is the founder of Kaminetzky Law & Mediation, P.C. located in Long Beach, New York. Prior to starting the firm Deborah worked at a Long Island firm where she learned the practice of Matrimonial and Family law and Estate Planning. Deborah has also worked at the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs where she was responsible for prosecuting unlicensed home improvement contractors and negotiating settlements for consumers. Prior to practicing law, Ms. Kaminetzky was the president of a commercial property management corporation in the New York Metro area. Ms. Kaminetzky is a member of the National Association of Divorce Professionals, New York State Council on Divorce Mediation, Family and Divorce Mediation Council of Greater New York, New York State Bar Association (Business Law, Estate, Family Law, ADR and General Practice Sections), Nassau County Bar Association (where she serves as Chair of the General, Solo and Practice Management Committee and The Nassau County Women’s Bar Association. Ms. Kaminetzky was appointed to the Committee on Law Practice Management of the New York State Bar Association in 2015 and has been a frequent speaker and author of articles for their journal. Ms. Kaminetzky serves on the Board of Directors of the Yashar Attorney and Judges Chapter of Hadassah as a their Treasurer, and was their Woman of the Year 2012 and Leadership award honoree in 2019. Deborah graduated from New York Law School in 1991 and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1986. Ms. Kaminetzky was admitted to the First Department in 1991 and the United States Supreme Court Bar in February of 2015. Deborah is on the Matrimonial fee dispute arbitration panel for Nassau County. She expanded her alternative dispute resolution practice by completing a Mediation certificate program in December of 2013, an advanced Mediation certificate program in 2015 and most recently a Divorce Mediation certificate in early 2016 from The New York Peace Institute. Ms. Kaminetzky has spoken to various groups on topics including matrimonial law, technology and social media use, and disaster preparedness for business including cybersecurity.

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