Journal Article

Does a lawyer make a difference? Effects of a lawyer on mediation outcome in Japan

M Murayama

in International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family

Volume 13, issue 1, pages 52-77
Published in print April 1999 | ISSN: 1360-9939
Published online April 1999 | e-ISSN: 1464-3707 | DOI:
Does a lawyer make a difference? Effects of a lawyer on mediation outcome in Japan

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As mediation began to handle property issues as well as disputes concerning children, lawyers came to be involved either as mediators or representatives of a party. Drawing on divorce mediation data at a family court in Japan, the paper investigates how the legal representation affects the process and outcome mediation. We found that legal representation correlated consistently with outcomes for wives. When wives retained lawyers, they were better off than when neither party retained a lawyer. However, when husbands had lawyers but wives did not, outcomes tended to be least favourable to wives. Such correlations do not seem spurious even after considering the effects of income and the length of marriage. The findings indicate that legal representation could empower a weaker party so that the power relationship between spouses is not directly reflected in mediation outcomes, and that mediation may not be fair, if only one party, particularly a husband, has legal representation.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Family Law ; Marriage and the Family

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