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Offering an applicant information on family mediation

The applicant may be written to using the standard letter below and invited to attend a short information meeting with a paralegal at the earliest opportunity.

APP003.Initial information meeting letter
APP003.First Consultation workflow

PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL

Mr. John Smith

1 Main Street

Ballymore

Co. Dublin                                                                                1 September 2016

 

 

RE: APPLICATION FOR LEGAL SERVICES

 

 

Dear Mr Smith,

 

I refer to your application for legal services dated ___________.  Based on the information you have provided, you have been deemed financially eligible for legal services.    

[The Board would like to offer you an appointment with a non solicitor member of staff [on _________ at _________.  Please telephone the law centre at ____________   by ______________ to confirm your attendance.]

 OR

[Please telephone the law centre at _______________ to organise the exact time and date of your appointment].

We note that you have applied for legal services in relation to a family matter.  The purpose of

this appointment is to discuss options as to how you might go about resolving the problem.

We will not be giving you legal advice at this meeting, simply information about the options available

to you.  You are not required to make any payment for this appointment.

We will at a later stage offer you an appointment with a solicitor.  In this case your legal advice contribution will be  € ___ which is payable when you see a solicitor.  Should it be necessary to bring legal proceedings, and if you are granted a legal aid certificate, your legal aid contribution will be €   , which is payable on acceptance of the certificate.  Your solicitor will discuss this further with you at your consultation. 

If I do not hear from you within 30 days of the date of this letter I will presume you no longer wish to proceed with your application for legal services and/or mediation and your file will be closed. This does not prevent you from reapplying again at a later stage.

Yours sincerely,

_______________
Jane Jones

Law Centre (                         )

At the meeting, the paralegal should use the script below to discuss the applicant’s options including the possibility of family mediation.

I see from your application form that your application is in relation to family law. I will process your application and let you know whether or not you are eligible for legal aid. There is a waiting list for legal services, so it will take some time before you can see a solicitor.

In the meantime, there is a family mediation office [here] [nearby at INSERT LOCATION] and we recommend that you meet with a mediator to see if mediation could help you. It is a free service and you can attend mediation while you are waiting to see a solicitor.

You start by meeting with the mediator, so they can explain how it works. Mediation is all about helping you and the other party make good decisions together. When decisions are made together it is easier to abide by what you agreed.

I can bring you down to the office and introduce you to the staff there.

  • Mediation helps people make their own decisions.
  • Mediation is particularly helpful for parents and children
  • The mediator doesn’t tell you what to do but helps you discuss and agree what is best for you and fair for all involved
  • Mediation focuses on the future rather than the past
  • It is voluntary. If you find it is not working for you then you are free to stop.
  • It is a confidential service. The mediator will not discuss your business with anyone else or testify in court.
  • You are free to take legal advice during the process.

If the applicant indicates a willingness to attend mediation, they should be referred to the law centre’s paired mediation office using the letter below. Consult Chapter 6 for details of where your law centre’s paired mediation office is if you do not know. If there is another mediation office which it is more convenient for the applicant to attend you may refer them there instead.

APP003.Referral letter to family mediation
APP003.First Consultation

PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL

Mr. John Smith

1 Main Street

Ballymore

Co. Dublin                                                                                1 September 2016

RE: APPLICATION FOR LEGAL SERVICES

Dear

We note that you have applied for legal services in relation to a family law matter and that you recently attended with us for an information meeting where we discussed options for the resolution of your problem. At this meeting you indicated to us that you wished to try to resolve your problem by means of family mediation.

You should now make contact with a mediation office directly to arrange an appointment. The contact details for the nearest mediation office are:

            Mediation Office (Dublin)

            1 Main Street

            Dublin D01 A2

            Tel: 01: 111 2222

Your name will remain on our applications record for legal services. If you resolve your problem by means of family mediation, you should contact us at the earliest opportunity to ask us to remove your name from our applications record.

Yours sincerely

______________

Jane Jones

Law Centre (__________)

A person referred to family mediation should remain on the applications record unless they contact the law centre to withdraw their application and should be offered their first consultation as usual when the law centre is ready to do so.