Wait, I thought we settled?

As a mediator, one of the last things I want to see is the parties reaching a verbal settlement, but leaving without signing an agreement.   As we all know, nothing is binding until the agreement has been signed. Some of the most common reasons for failed settlements involve travel plans. There is nothing worse than […]

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Parties’ Right of Self-Determination in Mediation

Mediator Rule 10.310 provides: Rule 10.310. Self-Determination (a) Decision-Making. Decisions made during a mediation are to be made by the parties. A mediator shall not make substantive decisions for any party. A mediator is responsible for assisting the parties in reaching informed and voluntary decisions while protecting their right of self-determination. (b) Coercion Prohibited. A […]

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Mediation: Can I be sanctioned?

Court-ordered mediation is generally covered by Section 1.720-1.750, Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. The parties (or their representatives) with full authority to settle, a representative from an insurance carrier with full authority to settle and the party’s counsel of record are required to appear unless other appropriate agreements are otherwise obtained. So, mediation has been […]

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Mediation Mistakes- Part III:

Whether you are a party to a lawsuit or the attorney representing one of the parties, a very common mistake is failing to draft a settlement agreement in advance of the mediation. The case may or may not settle at the mediation, but if it does, no one wants to sit around for several hours […]

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“Help Me Help You…”

To quote Tom Cruise from the movie, Jerry McGuire, “Help me help you.”   Mediation can be an effective tool in settling cases. However, as the mediator, I can only do just so much to help forge that settlement between the parties. If clients come to the mediation with unrealistic expectations or are not mentally […]

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Should You Bring An Expert Witness to a Mediation?

In many litigation matters, experts will be needed to prove up your client’s case.  For example, in a business divorce, an economist or certified public accountant may be needed to prove up the economics involved in attempting to secure an equitable division of assets. In real estate litigation involving a boundary dispute, a survey expert […]

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MEDIATION MISTAKES- Part I:

One of the more common mediation mistakes is to set the mediation for one-half day.   Often, parties will schedule the mediation for only a half day based upon the belief that either (a) the case has no chance of settling; or (b) if it is going to settle, it should settle in a few hours. […]

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Mediation: It’s OK, Go Ahead–Shoot the Messenger

The primary components of EVERY Mediation are the exchange information, presentation of theories of each party’s case and the transmission of offers of settlement. Very often, an offer of settlement or advancement of the other party’s theory of the case may solicit a response from the other party that goes something like “That no good, […]

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MEDIATION: Taking Control of the Outcome

Is mediation right for you? There are many situations in which mediation is the preferred choice over litigation. Many contracts (including, for example, the standard FAR/BAR Residential Contract for Sale and Purchase of real estate) require mediation before a lawsuit can be filed. Even if your dispute does not require mediation, the benefits of settling […]

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