An amicus has tremendous power to settle a family law dispute. A trained amicus, a funded amicus, has the ability to get to know all members of the divorcing family. The amicus has the ability to gain the trust of both parents and understand the true needs of the children. Once trust is established the amicus has the ability to help the parties to settle their lawsuit. If the amicus sees a party acting outside the norm, the amicus can direct the parties to a mental health professional who will provide the data necessary for the amicus to give direction to the parties to help minimize conflict. Knowing your parent’s strengths and weaknesses are extremely important in settling a family law case BEFORE it needs to be tried.
If an informal settlement conference was scheduled at the beginning of the lawsuit, an amicus could provide DIRECTION to the parents on WHAT they should be doing to get their lawsuit resolved. If a second informal settlement conference was scheduled PRIOR to the case being mediated or tried, the amicus could help FILTER what issues would be agreed to and which ones needed to be resolved through the use of mediation or by the trial court.
The trust that the amicus has is a resource that should not be ignored or overlooked. A meeting that provides your client with needed direction to settle their lawsuit is NOT an unproductive meeting. Let your amicus use informal settlement conferences in your case, it may be the most productive afternoon that you and your clients have.