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Alternative Dispute Resolution

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) has been utilized by the Florida Court System to resolve disputes for over 30 years, starting with the creation of the first citizen dispute settlement (CDS) center in Dade County in 1975. ADR processes offer litigants court-connected opportunities to resolve their disputes without judicial intervention.

News from the Field

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The Florida Dispute Resolution Center held its 25th Annual Conference for Mediators and ADR Professionals: "Passion, Purpose & Peacemaking" at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes in Orlando, Florida. The Florida Bar approval reference number is 1704003N for 13.0 General, 3.0 Bias Elimination, and 6.0 Legal Ethics credits. Certification Credits: Civil Trial & Marital and Family Law 13.0 hours each. Conference CME: Up to 13.2 hours with a minimum of 1.5 hours of mediator ethics and 2.1 hours of interpersonal violence. Click here for workshop materials.

Questions
Contact AK Consulting Group
(850) 523-4200

The Florida Supreme Court adopted proposed amendments to the Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators in re: Amendments to the Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators, SC15-875 (Fla. 2016).  The amendments to the rules change the title of Part III to “Mediation Certification Applications and Discipline” to clarify that this part of the rules pertains to the qualification of applicants as well as discipline.  The amended rules have separate tracks for grievances alleging issues of good moral character in applicants and grievances alleging violations of the rules by certified and court-appointed mediators.  The Mediator Qualifications Board is renamed the Mediator Qualifications and Discipline Review Board.  A fourth division is added to the Board and the divisions are reorganized.  Among the amendments are new rule 10.850 Suspension, Decertification, Denial of Application, and Removal which includes instances requiring the automatic decertification of a mediator or denial of an application without the need for a hearing.  Notably, in rule 10.890, there are now limitations on the time in which a complaint against a mediator can be filed.

The Court revised proposed rule 10.810(d)(1) to allow the complainant only one opportunity to refile a complaint to establish the facial sufficiency of the complaint, and rule10.840(b)(7) to limit the suspension of a mediator for a period of up to one year.  The amended rules went into effect January 1, 2017. 


CME Documentation Study Ends 

Dear Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediators,

The Supreme Court Committee on ADR Rules and Policy has rescinded the requirement that the reporting of all CME activities be accompanied by backup documentation for the hours claimed beginning with renewal applications due on February 1, 2017.  The DRC is returning to the practice of random audits in which a select group of renewal applicants are notified in advance of their renewal submission date that documentation is needed.  Therefore, unless you are notified that you are under audit when you receive your next renewal notice, you may submit just the one page CME form to document your CME activities.  We hope this is welcome news.  Susan C. Marvin, Acting Chief of ADR  


The Florida Supreme Court has added to its inventory of public outreach programs by placing its own page on Facebook, with its address on the web at: https://www.facebook.com/floridasupremecourt/. “This addition to our outreach efforts is a product of the new statewide Court Communication Plan approved by the full Court in December,” said Florida Chief Justice Jorge Labarga. “It is yet another way we will tell our story to the public.” The Facebook page joins existing Supreme Court pages on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Google+. The Court also uses YouTube but embeds videos within its own webpages to minimize distractions to viewers.

The Court primarily will use its Facebook page to tell the public news about the Supreme Court family such as people winning awards, personnel recognized for lengthy service, and other soft news. This will contrast with Twitter, which the Court has used since 2009 mainly to distribute hard news such as filings in high-profile cases.


Disciplinary Proceedings and Sanctions

The Dispute Resolution Center (DRC) has put a Sanctions page in place. You can access the Sanctions page from the menu on the left by selecting Rules/Discipline/Sanctions.
 

Contact the DRC

Call 850-921-2910 or send us an email at DRCMail@flcourts.org