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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

The Mediator Qualifications & Discipline Review Board (MQDRB) is the grievance body under the Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators.  The MQDRB is comprised of over 60 members; up to 17 members each from the four regions of Florida.  The members include judges, county mediators, family mediators, circuit mediators, dependency mediators, appellate mediators and non-mediator attorneys who meet in complaint committees and hearing panels when grievances are filed against certified or court-appointed mediators.  Additionally, the MQDRB’s three member Qualifications Inquiry Committee (QIC) reviews issues related to the findings of good moral character required for initial and ongoing certification.  

The MQDRB is currently accepting applications for the following member appointments:

Northern Division (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 8th, and 14th Judicial Circuits) – None

Central Division (5th, 7th, 9th, 10th, 18th and 19th Judicial Circuits) – 2 county, 2 circuit, 1 dependency and 1 appellate mediator seats

Southeast Division (11th, 15th, 16th and 17th Judicial Circuits) – 1 county, 1 circuit, 1 family and 1 dependency mediator seats

Southwest Division (6th, 12th, 13th and 20th Judicial Circuits) – 2 family mediator seats

Please submit a letter of interest and current résumé for the appointment you are interested in and qualified for to:

Florida Dispute Resolution Center
Supreme Court Building
500 S. Duval Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399

Fax: (850) 922-9290

Email: DRCmail@flcourts.org

Deadline:  February 20, 2017


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Now Accepting Workshop Proposals
​Click Here to Submit
Proposal Deadline: Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Florida Dispute Resolution Center (DRC) is pleased to announce that we are accepting workshop proposals for our Annual DRC Conference: Passion, Purpose, and Peacemaking: 25 Years of Service, August 10-12, 2017, at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes, Orlando. Traditionally, over 900 ADR professionals attend the two day event to enhance their knowledge, sharpen their skills and network with colleagues from across the state.


On October 27, 2016, 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