Sanctions - Consensual Agreements
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On July 5, 2012, Mediator agreed to complete 10 hours of additional CME specifically on the subjects of demeanor, impartiality, a balanced process and dealing with high conflict parties, observe 3 separate, non-credit union or non-credit card mediations, and submit a reflective report on what was learned from the experience. Findings: The Grievance Complaint Committee (GCC) found probable cause to believe the mediator violated the Florida Rules for Certified and Court Appointed Mediators, Rules 10.330(a), 10.350, and 10.370(c). The GCC found the mediator did not act impartially in his actions toward the complainant; his manner and speech were inappropriate and his demeanor toward the complainant and her partner was harsh. Further, the mediator offered legal advice. UPDATE: Mediator did not comply with the terms of the agreement and resigned permanently as a mediator.
On August 22, 2012, Mediator agreed to complete 4 hours of additional CME specifically on the topics covering Rule
10.310(a) & (b) Self Determination, Rule 10.350 Demeanor and Rule 10.370 Advice, Opinion and Information. Additionally,
the mediator must submit a reflective report of no less than 3 pages on insights gained. Findings: This case stemmed from a
family matter involving child custody. The complainant was not represented by counsel at the mediation but brought a friend
for moral support. The former husband was represented by counsel during the mediation.
The Grievance Complaint Committee (GCC) interviewed the mediator and complainant and had an independent investigation conducted. The GCC found cause to believe the mediator violated the Florida Rules for Certified and Court Appointed Mediators by not allowing the complainant to have a friend join her in the mediation (without asking the other side if they objected), by indicating his opinion as to how the court would rule, by treating the complainant harshly, by speaking to the complainant in a loud and intimidating voice, and by treating the complainant in a demeaning manner. In lieu of pending probable cause, the GCC offered sanctions to the mediator by agreement.
Mediator agreed to permanently relinquish her certifications as a mediator and agreed not to mediate either privately or in a court setting on March 21, 2012. Findings: The mediator referred the complainant to a specific attorney, was present with the complainant at the meeting with the attorney and acted as complainant’s interpreter, charged excessive fees for mediation services and entered into a relationship with the ex-husband of the complainant, who was the other party to the mediation.
For additional information please contact The Dispute Resolution Center at 850-921-2910 or at DRCmail@flcourts.org.