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MEAC Opinions - Procedures

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Opinion Summary Rule References
2013-012 A Florida Supreme Court certified mediator subject to local rule 9019-2(A)(5), United States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Florida, who is mediating in the Loss Mitigation Mediation Program, may sign the referenced mediator’s oath currently required by the rule without violating the Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators.

Rule 10.520
MEAC Opinion 2012-005
S.D. Fla. L.R. 9019-2 (A)(5) Mediation.

2013-009 Engaging in the dual role of mediator and notary is ethically inappropriate.

Rule 10.340(d)Rule 10.340
Committee Note,§§ 44.404(1)(a), (2)(a), and § 117.107. (2013)
Florida Jurisprudence 2d, Acknowledgments, etc. § 40
MEAC Opinions 2011-004, 2010-004, 2007-005 and 2004-004

2013-006 This opinion focuses on several questions related to the appropriateness of a mediator raising issues during mediation.  In this case the questions pertain to a family mediation setting but the MEAC responses are not limited to family mediation unless so stated.

Sections 44.1011(2) and 44.403(4), Florida Statutes
Rules 10.220, 10.320, 10.370(c), 10.620
Rule 12.740(f)(1) and (3),
MEAC Opinions 2012-009 and 2010-004

2013-005

Question One:  It is beyond the scope of a mediator’s role and responsibilities to complete and file a “Notice of Confidential Information within Court Filing” pursuant to rule 2.420(d)(2), Florida Rules of Judicial Administration.

 

Questions Two & Three: The court is the appropriate body to determine who is considered a “filer” and a “designee of a judge” under rule 2.420(d)(2), Florida Rules of Judicial Administration; therefore, the MEAC declines to answer these questions.

Rules 10.220, 10.300, 10.340 (d), 10.330(a), and 10.420(c), Committee Note to Rule 10.340 (d)
Rule 2.420(d)(2), Florida Rules of Judicial Administration
MEAC Opinions 2011-017 and 2011-004

2012-009 Question one: Your circuit’s mediation report form which has the outcomes: “agreement,” “partial agreement,” “no agreement,” or “continuance” (adjournment), meets the requirements of the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure and the Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure. Question two: It is a clear violation of Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.730(a) to add the term “signed” to a description of an agreement in a mediation report. Question three: The interpretation of Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure 12.740(f)(1) on which this question is based is erroneous. Although rule 12.740(f)(1) allows the parties to agree to electronically or stenographically record an agreement, that agreement must be “made under oath or affirmed” and the transcript of such agreement must then be signed by all parties before being filed with the court. Rule 10.420(c)
Rule 1.730 (a) & (b)
Rule 12.740 (f)(1)-(3)
MEAC Opinion 2010-007 §44.404, Fla. Stat. (2012)
2011-018 Certified mediators are required to follow the statutory requirements for reporting abuse in accordance with Florida Statutes and consistent with other professional licenses held by a certified mediator. Rules 10.360(a) and 10.650, Florida Statutes 39.201, 44.405(4)(a)(3) and 415.1034
2011-013 A certified mediator does not have the authority to direct or suggest to an attorney, acting as a party representative in a small claims case, to make a phone call over the objection of the physically present named party. Rules, 10.310(a), 10.330(a), 10.360(a), 10.520, 10.620, Rule 7.090(f)
MEAC Opinions 2000-005, 2006-007, 2007-002, 2008-006, 2010-014
2011-012 Certified mediators do not have the authority to unilaterally ban the use of cellular communication during the mediation process. Decisions regarding the use of communication devices and participant participation in the mediation via electronic methods are decisions for the parties to make. Rules 10.220, 10.300, 10.310(a) and 10.360(a)
Sections 401-405, Florida Statutes Chapter 44
2011-006 Although the inquirer is a certified mediator, the question of who determines who is a company representative for the purposes of mediation participation is not a question of mediator ethics. The rendering of legal guidance is not within the jurisdiction of the MEAC. Rule 1.720, Florida Rules of Civil Procedure; Rules 10.310 and 10.340, Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators; Chapter 44, Sections 401-406, Florida Statutes, 2010
2011-005 The MEAC remains confident in its previous decisions, most recently 2010-014. Upon the request or demand of a party at the mediation, the mediator must declare an impasse. Mediators must act in accordance with the Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators and must conduct the mediation so that the principles of self-determination are protected. However, a mediator should not declare an impasse under this scenario before the opening statement is delivered pursuant to Rule 10.420(a) and should attempt to explore options or alternatives to impasse with the party requesting same. Rule 1.720 (c), Florida Rules of Civil Procedure; Rules 10.310(a)-(d) and 10.420 (a) and (b)(1)-(3), Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators; MEAC Opinions 1995-009, 2001-004 and 2010-014
2011-001 It is neither a requirement nor a violation of the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure or the Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators for a certified mediator to sign a written settlement agreement in the capacity of mediator. Rules 1.730(b) and 1.750, Florida Rules of Civil Procedure; Rule 7.090, Florida Small Claims Rules; Rule 8.290, Florida Rules of Juvenile Procedure; Rule 9.740, Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure; Rule 12.740, Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure; Rule 10.520 Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators;
2010-014 A mediator does not have the authority to compel attendance at subsequent mediation conferences against the wishes of the parties and/or their counsel. Rules 10.310 (a) and (b) and 10.520, Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators; Rule 1.720(c), Florida Rules of Civil Procedure; MEAC Opinion 2004-006
2010-012 A mediator is accountable to the referring court with ultimate authority over the case. Any interaction discharging this responsibility, however, shall be conducted in a manner consistent with these ethical standards. If a mediator believes a court program is asking the mediator to violate the mediator’s ethical standards, the mediator shall decline to do so. Rule 10.500 Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators; Rules 1.720(b) and 1.730(a),(b), Florida Rules of Civil Procedure; MEAC opinions 2000-003, 2004-006, 2005-007, 2010-007, 2010-010 and 2010-011; Florida Supreme Court Administrative Orders AOSC09-54 and AOSC10-57
2010-011 Questions regarding mediator fees, reports to the court, participation of parties without full authority to settle in general and in connection with the Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation (RMFM) Programs are examined, explained and responses given in the six questions posed in this opinion. Rules 10.310(a), 10.380(c), 10.500, 10.510, 10.520, Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators; Rules 1.720(b),(g) and 1.730(b), Florida Rules of Civil Procedure; MEAC Opinions 2007-002 and 2010-007; AOSC09-54 and AOSC10-57
2010-010 Yes, it is ethical for a mediator to participate in the Florida Supreme Court’s Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program (RMFP). AOSC09-54 In Re: Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Cases; AOSC10-57 In Re: Guidance Concerning Managed Mediation Programs for Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Cases; Rule 10.520 Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators; MEAC Opinions 2009-0011, 2010-007, 2010-008, 2010-011 and 2010-012
2010-007 At the completion of mediation, a mediator shall report “agreement” or “no agreement” without comment or recommendation as dictated by the Rule 1.730(a)-(b), Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. However, a mediator may report that a mediation was adjourned. AOSC09-54 In Re: Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Cases, Exhibit 9; AOSC10-57 In Re: Guidance Concerning Managed Mediation Programs for Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Cases; Rule 10.420 (b)(1-5), Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators; Rule 1.730 (a)-(b), Florida Rules of Civil Procedure; Sections 401-405, Mediation Confidentiality and Privilege Act
2010-005 1 and 2: It is up to the mediator to decide how to interpret the hesitation of the party. If, after further inquiry, the mediator believes a party does not understand or appreciate how an agreement may adversely affect legal rights or obligations, the mediator shall advise the party of the right to seek independent counsel, therefore making this a requirement. 3: The mediator should honor the party’s right to self determination after assessing the party’s ability to participate meaningfully and with understanding of the terms. If however, the mediator believes the party is unable to rationally and intelligently assess the terms of the agreement or the mediator is no longer impartial, then the mediator must adjourn, terminate or withdraw from the mediation. Rules 10.310(a), 10.330(b), 10.370(b), 10.420(b)(2-4), Committee Note to Rule 10.370, Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators
2010-004 1A: Even if the parties do not raise the issue, a mediator may raise the issue of the parental address that will be included in the parenting plan for school enrollment. 1B: A mediator is accountable to the referring court with ultimate authority over the case. Any interaction discharging this responsibility, however, shall be conducted in a manner consistent with these ethical rules. 1C: The actions of a judicial officer are governed by the Rules of Judicial Administration and therefore outside of the jurisdiction of the MEAC. 2A: A mediator is prohibited from taking on the dual role of mediator and notary. 2B: Questions regarding the enforceability of mediated settlement agreements are legal questions and hence outside of the jurisdiction of the MEAC. Rules 10.310, 10.320, 10.340(d), 10.500, 10.520 and 10.900, Committee Notes to Rules 10.320, 10.340 and 10.370,Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators; Rule 12.740(f)(2), Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure; MEAC Opinions 2004-004, 2004-006, 2006-002, 2007-005
2009-010 It is not appropriate for a mediator to insert the original claim amount (from the complaint) in a paragraph of a settlement form, awarding that amount as a judgment to the Plaintiff in the event of the default of the Defendant, if that has not been agreed to by the parties. Consistent with applicable law, rules of procedure and local administrative rules, it is appropriate for a mediator, upon agreement of the parties, to delete pre-printed default language on a small claims stipulation form. Rules 10.230(a), 10.300, 10.310(a), 10.420(c), 10.500 and 10.520, Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators
2008-006 A. It is not permissible for a mediator to dictate, over the parties’ objections, who participates in a mediation caucus. B. If someone participates in a mediation, either a full session or just a caucus, that person is a mediation participant subject to the confidentiality requirements under Florida’s Mediation Confidentiality and Privilege Act. Under the statute, there is no violation of confidentiality associated with disclosing mediation communications to another mediation participant. Rules 10.310(a) and 10.420, Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators; Sections 44.403(2) and 44.405(1), Florida Statutes; MEAC Opinion 2006-007
2008-001 A. It is ethically inappropriate for a mediator to make the determination as to whether a party has complied with a judge’s discovery order. B. It would be inappropriate for a mediator to cancel mediation merely because of the assertion that one party has not complied with a discovery order. C. Since it is not appropriate for the mediator to make the determination to cancel the mediation, the mediator would not be in a position of filing a report with the judge stating that the mediator did so. D. This question is beyond the jurisdiction of the MEAC; however, care should be taken to ensure that the unit does not provide any service that would cause mediators to compromise their integrity or impartiality. Rules 10.230, 10.310, 10.330(a), 10.360, 10.370(c), 10.420(b), 10.500, 10.620, and 10.900, Committee Note to rule 10.310, Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators; Rule 1.730(a), Florida Rules of Civil Procedure; Rule 8.290(o)(2), Florida Rules of Juvenile Procedure; Rule 12.740(f)(3), Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure; Section 44.401- Section 44.406, Florida Statutes; MEAC Opinions 2000-003 and 2006-003
2007-004 Following a judicial requirement limiting the participants in the mediation would not require the mediator to commit an ethical violation and therefore may be complied with without conflicting with the opinion rendered in MEAC 2006-007. Rules 10.310(a), 10.500 and 10.520, Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators; MEAC Opinions 2001-007, 2003-007, 2003-008, 2004-006, 2006-002 and 2006-007
2007-003 Conducting a second mediation with only three of the original four parties to a prior mediation agreement (the fourth party is not aware of the second mediation), which was based on the occurrence of a contingent event, prior to the deadline for the contingency to have occurred, would be inconsistent with your ethical obligations. Rules 10.310, 10.330(a), and 10.620, Committee Note to Rule 10.330, Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators
2007-002 A. It would not be appropriate to routinely attach the mediated settlement agreement to a circuit civil case in light of the requirements of rule 1.730(b), Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. B. If one party objects, the agreement can not be attached. C. The Committee declines to answer this question since it asks for an opinion on the behavior of someone other than a certified or court-appointed mediator. Rules 1.730(b) Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, and 10.520 Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators; Section 44.405(4)(a), Florida Statutes
2006-007 A. While a mediator may facilitate discussion on the subject between the parties, the mediator may not “dictate” to the parties who attends their mediation. B. The appropriate procedure would be for the nonparty participants to be told that they are also bound by the confidentiality requirements in statute and rule. C. Although a mediator would not commit a direct violation of confidentiality by suggesting that a party, without the consent of all parties, discuss mediation communications with someone who does not attend the mediation, it is nonetheless unethical to do so because it could lead to a breach of confidentiality by another. Rules 10.230, 10.310(a), 10.360(a), and 10.520, Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators; Sections 44.403(1) and (2), 44.405(1) and 44.405(4)(a), Florida Statutes
2006-002 Given the judge's intervention, the mediator must carefully monitor the parties' participation in the mediation to ascertain the parties' ability to exercise self-determination and must be prepared to terminate the mediation if any party is unable or unwilling to participate meaningfully in the process. A mediator is not relieved of ethical responsibilities by writing the "agreement" up as a "scrivener" Rules 10.220, 10.230, 10.300, 10.310(d), 10.420 (a) & (b), 10.900, Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators; Section 44.404(1)(b), Florida Statutes Chabotte v. Chabotte , 707 So.2d 923 (Fla. 4th DCA 1998); Note: Changes to the rules in 2006 may impact this opinion.
2005-007 A and C: If a party is requesting that the mediation be rescheduled for "good cause" the mediation should be rescheduled to a mutually convenient time consistent with rule 10.330(a). If the party is objecting to attending mediation, the mediator cannot compel attendance, however, the party should be advised that pursuant to rule 12.741(b)(2), the party may be subject to sanctions by the court for "nonappearance" B: A report to the court regarding nonappearance should not include any reason for the nonappearance. D: A date for mediation may be set without the advance agreement of all parties, but then any party would be permitted to request that it be rescheduled. E: A mediator may report non-appearance at a mediation if the mediator gave the non-appearing party due notice of the date and time for the mediation session and good cause was not shown for rescheduling. Rules 10.310, 10.330(a) and 10.520, Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators; 1.720(f), Florida Rules of Civil Procedure; 12.740(f) and 12.741(b)(6), Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure; 8.290(e), Florida Rules of Juvenile Procedure ; MEAC 2000-003
2004-009 While the Committee does not have jurisdiction to apply the Workers' Compensation statute to the specific facts in your question, the Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators, to which all certified mediators must adhere, makes clear that if the mediator believes that the mediation entails fraud, duress, the absence of bargaining ability or unconscionability, the mediator is required to terminate the mediation. Rules 10.200, 10.410, and 10.420(b)(4), Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators; In Re: Florida Rules of Workers' Compensation Procedure, 891 So2d 474 ( Fla. 2004); Rule 4.361(d), Florida Rules of Workers' Compensation Procedure (repealed December 2, 2004)
2004-006 When a mediator receives a court order in advance of a mediation, which contains provisions which are contrary to the mediator's role and requires the mediator to act in a manner that is inconsistent with the mediator's ethical rules, the mediator should decline participation in the mediation. Rules 10.200, 10.220, 10.310, 10.360(a), 10.500, 10.510, and 10.520; 1.730(a), 8.290(o)(2), 12.740(f)(3), Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators; Sections 44.401-44.406, Florida Statutes; MEAC 95-009, 96-005, 99-012, 2001-004, Avril v. Civilmar , 605 So 2d 988 (Fla. 4 th DCA 1992); Evans v. State , 603 So 2d 15 (Fla. 5 th DCA 1992); Chabotte v. Chabotte, 707 So 2d 923 (Fla. 4 th DCA 1998); Note: Changes to the rules in 2006 may impact this opinion.
2003-010 A. Pursuant to family court rules, a mediator is obligated to see that a mediated agreement is reduced to writing, but is not obligated to write the agreement. This rule does not conflict with the statutory provision requiring the mediator to prepare a consent order, since this provision merely requires such agreement to be incorporated into a consent order prepared by the mediator. B. While a mediator cannot compel parties who have reached an agreement to put such agreement in writing and sign it immediately, the mediator does have the obligation to "discuss with the parties and counsel the process for formalization and implementation of the agreement," and to see that the agreement is "memorialized appropriately." Rules 10.420, 10.520, Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators; 12.740, Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure; Section 61.183, Florida Statutes; MEAC 95-009
2003-009 A mediator has no affirmative duty at the beginning of a mediation to inquire about a representative's authority. Rule 10.420(a), Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators; MEAC 99-002
Note: Changes to the rules in 2006 may impact this opinion.
2003-004 A. By contracting with only one party in a dispute, the mediator may have violated the general impartiality requirement contained in rule 10.330(a). B. Initiating the mediation process without the required judicial involvement is a violation of the ethical rules. C. Referencing sanctions for failure to participate in a mediation in a case which has not yet been court-ordered to mediation, is a violation of the ethical rules. D. A mediator must comply with ethical and procedural rules in relation to charging fees for mediation. Failure to do so would be an ethical violation. Rules 10.310(b), 10.330(a), 10.380, 10.520, 10.610 and 10.620, Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators; 12.740 and 12.741, Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure; MEAC 96-001 and 98-006
2003-001 A mediator shall adjourn or terminate a workers' compensation mediation where there is a complete absence of bargaining ability. This determination must be made on a case by case basis. Telephonic mediation does not automatically render a mediation inappropriate. A mediator should be mindful of the extent of the relationship between the mediator and a particular carrier or adjuster which must, at a minimum, be disclosed and may become a clear conflict of interest which is not waivable. Rules 10.200, 10.310, 10.410, 10.420(b)(3) - (b)(4), 10.330(b), 10.340(b) - (c), 10.520 and 10.650, Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators; 1.720, Florida Rules of Civil Procedure; Sections 440.25(3)(a)2 and 44.106, Florida Statutes; Rules 4.300(b) and 4.361(d), Florida Rules of Workers’ Compensation Procedure; Rule 60Q-6.110(3), Florida Administrative Code
2002-001 The requirements of 1.720(b)(1), Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, regarding appearances cannot be satisfied by the physical presence of the party's attorney or in-house counsel of an entity without the named party. Rules 10.420(b)(3), 10.420(b)(4), Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators; 1.720(b), Florida Rules of Civil Procedure; MEAC 99-002; (a)Carbino v. Ward, 801 So. 2d 1028 ( Fla. 5th DCA 2001)
2001-007 It is not appropriate for an arbitrary time limit to be imposed for mediation services. While a judge may interrupt the mediation and request that it be concluded, impasse should not be declared if the parties have not reached impasse. Rules 10.230, 10.310(a), 10.420(b), 10.430, 10.500, Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators
2001-004 (a) and (b) A mediator should declare an impasse upon request of a party, but need not immediately cancel a mediation because a party calls an attorney or other "extra-mediation source or advisor." (c) A mediator should not report to the court that a party was not mediating in good faith since there is no requirement that a party mediate in good faith. A mediator's report should be limited to only those matters authorized by applicable court rule. (d) The actions of an attorney to a party to mediation are subject to the ethical jurisdiction of the Florida Bar not the MEAC. In addition, a mediator should not voluntarily testify or disclose confidential communications absent a waiver. Rules 10.220, 10.310, 10.420(b)(3), Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators; 1.720(b) and 1.730(a), Florida Rules of Civil Procedure; 8.290(l) and 8.290(o)(2), Florida Rules of Juvenile Procedure; 12.740(d) and (f),Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure; MEAC 95-003, 95-009, 96-005, 99-012
Note: Changes to the statute in 2004 and to the rules and MEAC 96-005 and 99-01 in 2006 may impact this opinion.
2000-007 The appointment of a non-certified mediator violates procedural rules. Rules 10.200, 10.330(a), 10.340(a) and (c), 10.620, Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators; 1.720(f)(1)(B), Florida Rules of Civil Procedure; 8.290(e)(2)(B), Florida Rules of Juvenile Procedure; and 12.741(b)(6)(A)(ii) Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure
2000-005 A mediator should not continue to mediate when a party objects to that mediator. However, if all parties agree and it is feasible, such mediation may continue, under certain circumstances, as a co-mediation, a bifurcated proceeding, or in some other acceptable format. Rules 10.300, 10.330(a), 10.340, 10.620, Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators; 1.720(b) Florida Rules of Civil Procedure; MEAC 95-009, 99-008
2000-004 The rules adopted in April 2000 do not impose any additional requirements upon the mediator with regard to self-determination, since the addition of the word "protect" to the rule 10.310(a) does not constitute a substantive change. Rules 10.310, 10.060(a) - (b) Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators
2000-003 Pursuant to the rules, the reason for cancellation or postponement should not be explained in the mediator's report. Rules 10.310(d), 10.360(a), Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators; 1.730(a) Florida Rules of Civil Procedure; 8.290(o)(2) Florida Rules of Juvenile Procedure; 12.740(f)(3) Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure
Note: Changes to the rules in 2006 may impact this opinion.
2000-001 A mediator has an ethical obligation to allow a minimum of 2 observations of their mediations per year, even if certified in more than one area. With regards to the mentorship requirements, the term "observe" does not refer to co-mediation. Rules 10.520, 10.690(b), Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators; AOSC06-9 (Administrative Order Governing Certification of Mediators)
Note: Changes to the Administrative Order in 2006 may impact this opinion.
99-004 With agreement of the parties, a non-lawyer may assist at a court-ordered mediation and participate in the negotiations. Rules - none cited
99-003 A mediator has discretion regarding providing his/her notes upon request of a party. Rule 10.330(a) Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators
98-007 In a Bar Grievance Mediation conducted by a certified mediator, the resolution of a representative's authority is necessary prior to proceeding with a mediation. Mediation may continue if a valid durable power of attorney is in place, if not, the mediation should be canceled. Rules 10.420(b) Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators; 1.720(b) Florida Rules of Civil Procedure; MEAC 95-002; Rules Regulating the Florida Bar 3-8.1(i)
Note: Changes to the rules in 2000 may impact this opinion.
98-005 When a meeting take place without the presence of the mediator, it is not a mediation. Rules 10.420(b) Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators; 1.720(c), 1.720(d), Florida Rules of Civil Procedure
97-004 A mediator should not mediate if an armed deputy is necessary. Rules 10.360(a), 10.420(b) Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators; Section 44.405(2), Florida Statutes|
Note: Changes to the statute in 2004 and rules in 2006 may impact this opinion.
97-001 A mediator is not prohibited from having contact with either party before or during mediation. Rules 10.330(a) Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators; 1.720(e) Florida Rules of Civil Procedure; 12.741(b)(5) Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure
Opinion applicable for county, family and circuit. May not be applicable to dependency.
95-009 When mediation is court-ordered, the parties are required to appear at mediation. If they leave prior to the mediator completing an opening statement, the mediator may report non-appearance. After completion of the opening statement, if the parties choose not to stay at mediation, the mediator may only report impasse to the court. No rule exists which requires a party to negotiate in "good faith."
Note: Read MEAC Opinion 2006-003 as it has rescinded portions of MEAC 1995-009
Rules 10.420(a) - (b) Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators; 1.720(b) and (d), 1.730(a), 1.750(e), Florida Rules of Civil Procedure; 8.290(l) and (o)(2), Florida Rules of Juvenile Procedure; 12.740(d) and (f) Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure
Note: Changes to the rules in 2006 may impact this opinion.
94-001 With consent of counsel and parties and stipulation of confidentiality, contact with parties after mediation in an additional effort to resolve case is permissible. Rules 10.200, 10.220, 10.360(a), Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators; Sections 44.405(2) and 90.408, Florida Statutes
Note: Changes to the statute in 2004 and rules in 2006 may impact this opinion.

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