Guidelines for Christian Conciliation; Rules of Procedure; Rule 13

13. Right to Legal Counsel

A.  Conciliation can affect substantial legal rights and responsibilities. Therefore, parties have the right to be assisted or represented by independent legal counsel throughout the conciliation process.

B.  Both the Administrator and any attorneys serving on behalf of the Administrator serve only as impartial conciliators and will not represent any party or provide the parties with legal advice such as they would receive were they to seek legal advice from an independent attorney. If a party desires legal advice, he or she should consult with his or her own independent attorney, especially concerning a question about the statute of limitations (i.e., how long one can wait to file a legal action before losing the right to do so).

C.  When the Administrator is informed that a party has retained an attorney, the Administrator may contact the attorney to discuss the case and invite his or her cooperation in the conciliation process.

D.  A party must notify the Administrator at least five (5) days in advance if he or she desires to have an attorney present at a conciliation meeting. Such notice shall include the name and address of the attorney. If other parties will not have attorneys present with them during mediation meetings, the Administrator may exclude all attorneys from mediation meetings. If necessary to fulfill the purpose of Christian conciliation (see Rule 1), the Administrator may disqualify an attorney from participating in conciliation, provided his or her client is given reasonable time to secure another attorney.

E.  During mediation, attorneys shall serve only as advisors to their clients, and the clients will be expected to speak for themselves as much as possible. During arbitration, attorneys may represent and speak for their clients. Attorneys will be expected to respect the conciliatory nature of the process and avoid unnecessary advocacy.

F.  No attorney who has served as a conciliator shall represent any party in a subsequent legal proceeding concerning the matter that was presented for conciliation, nor may such an attorney use in other proceedings any information that was obtained during conciliation.