Empathy at Mediation

Saw the following on a t-shirt, “People who think they know everything are really annoying to those of us who do.”  This meme, obviously meant to be funny, has strategic relevance for mediation.  Very often at mediation, one party or the other is so  convinced of their position that they cannot or will not hear […]

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Mediation: Splitting the Split

In most mediations, the real issue is dollars and cents. During the mediation process, offers will be exchanged, often with a statement of one party’s legal position as a justification for why the other party should accept the offer. As the day goes on, the numbers get closer and the parties generally become weary of […]

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Mediation Mistakes: Overly Aggressive Counsel

The purpose of mediation is to get the case settled, stop the bleeding (i.e. attorney’s fees and costs) and allow clients who are not regulars in the courtroom to take their lives back. The General Session usually begins with the attorneys giving their opening statements. In the opening statement, counsel will present his or her […]

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Attorney Rod Neuman Selected Top Rated Mediator

Gibbons Neuman is proud to announce that firm President, Rod B. Neuman has been selected as a Top Rated Dispute Resolution Attorney by Super Lawyers.  Mr. Neuman mediates cases throughout the state of Florida and is certified in all Florida circuit courts in addition to the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. […]

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Mediation Mistakes- Failing to narrow the issues

When lawsuits are filed, Plaintiffs often plead a variety of causes of action (throwing in the “kitchen sink”) and Defendants who are being sued often respond in kind. At some point in the case, the parties will be referred to mediation or will agree to do it on their own. In my experience, the first […]

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Mediation: Violation of Confidentiality Provision

So the settlement agreement has a confidentiality provision. Nobody really pays attention to that right?  Think again. In the case of Gulliver Schools v. Snay, 137 So.3d 1045 (Fla. 3DCA 2014),  the Third District Court of Appeal held that the former headmaster who sued the school and reached a settlement could not recover the remaining […]

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Mediation Mistakes: Client Statements

Most mediations begin with a general session. In the general session, the parties and their attorneys are present and the attorneys will present their client’s case through an opening statement. They will present their client’s case in a light most favorable to their client. I typically warn the parties in advance of this and advise […]

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Mediation Tips- Attorney’s Fees

When mediating a case in which attorney’s fees and costs are available to the prevailing party, each side should come to the mediation with an up-to-date accounting of their attorney’s fees and costs. Failing to have an up-to-date accounting will often “tilt” the other side who may have come to the mediation in good faith, […]

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MEDIATION SETTLEMENT AUTHORITY

We often hear the phrase “settlement authority” at mediation. What does this really mean? Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.720(b) requires (unless otherwise permitted by the Court or stipulated by the parties, in writing) the following to attend mediation: (1) a party or a party representative having full authority to settle without further consultation, (2) […]

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Breaking the Mediation Impasse

It’s late in the day and the mediation negotiations have stalled. What do we do; give up or push on?  The following are some of my solutions for “Breaking the Impasse”:   Challenge the parties on their positions. Are they being reasonable?  Are there  better alternatives to declaring an impasse to the mediation?  Ask the […]

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