Geraldine Waxman, ESQ.
An attorney mediator sought clarification on what MEAC agreed was a waivable conflict of interest in
An attorney mediator sought clarification on what MEAC agreed was a waivable conflict of interest involving the mediator and an attorney for one of the parties who selected him as the mediator in an upcoming civil mediation (“Attorney B”). In MEAC Opinion 2018-003, MEAC opined that the “extended family relationship” as opposed to an “immediate family member” representing one of the parties, required disclosure of a potential conflict of interest, but was a waivable conflict of interest. What was this “extended family relationship?” Mediator's daughter is engaged to marry an attorney (Attorney “A”) who is the brother of Attorney B. The mediator has a limited social relationship with Attorney “B”. He sees Attorney “B” at family gatherings such as dinners hosted by Attorney “A”, two or three times a year. He sees Attorney “B” at an annual dinner party hosted by Attorney “B's” father. Does the answer to this question change when the Mediator is paying for his daughter's wedding, or other wedding-related events, to which Attorney “B” is invited as the uncle of the groom, and the Mediator is paying for Attorney “B's” food, beverages, and other costs of attending the wedding or wedding-related events? Does the answer change when Attorney “B” becomes his daughter's brother-in-law?