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MEAC Opinions - Business Practices

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Opinion

Subject Matter

Current Cites

2017-012PDF Download

Pursuant to rule 10.380(e) and (f), Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators, a mediator may not give or accept a referral fee, and contingency fees are not allowed.  A mediator who shares office space or is in a mediation department of a law firm may pay or contribute to overhead costs.

Rules 10.340(a), 10.380(e) and (f), Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators

MEAC Opinion 2001-001

2017-005PDF Download

A mediator’s business practices as to fees must reflect the principle of impartiality and be consistent with rule 10.380, Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators.

Rules 10.300, 10.330, and 10.380, Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators

2017-004PDF Download

A mediator’s business practices regarding fees and expenses must be consistent with rule 10.380 and the other standards of ethical conduct in the Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators.  Any change in the terms and conditions of the fees and expenses must be agreed upon by the parties so as to be consistent with self-determination and impartiality.

Rules 10.200, 10220, 10.300, 10.310, 10.330, 10.340, 10.380, and 10.410, Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators

2016-002PDF Download

Florida Supreme Court mediator certification does not convey the title or role of “Officer of the Court.”

Rules 10.210, Mediation Defined, and 10.220, Mediator’s Role

2014-005PDF Download

A mediator’s fee may never be based on the outcome of the mediation.  

Rules 10.690(a) and 10.380(f)

2013-004PDF Download

If a mediator believes that financially contributing to a judicial campaign or signing a petition supporting a candidate for judge who would preside over the court in which the mediator mediates would compromise or could have the appearance of compromising the mediator’s impartiality or the relationship with the judge, it is ethically correct for the mediator to decline to do so.  

Rules 10.330(a), 10.530, and 10.620

2011-015PDF Download

It is inappropriate and misleading for a certified mediator to use his / her mediator certification credentials to obtain a discount he / she is not otherwise entitled to receive.  

Part One, Rules 10.110(b) and 10.620

2006-004PDF Download

A certified mediator is subject to a good moral character requirement and is prohibited from performing any act which would compromise the mediator’s integrity; however, there is no general prohibition regarding a mediator exhibiting behavior “unbecoming” a mediator.  In addition, the actions of an attorney or a party in a mediation, cannot be judged as if they were those of a mediator.

Rules 10.110, 10.310(d), 10.420(b) and 10.620

2005-001PDF Download

The HOA Program billing procedures do not present any per se ethical concerns related to fees, expenses, or impartiality for a Florida Supreme Court certified mediator who participates in this program so long as the fees and their allocation between the parties are disclosed in advance of the mediation to the parties or their counsel, and the parties are given the option of agreeing to that arrangement or negotiating a different one.  

Rules 10.330, 10.380, and 10.520;

Section 720.311, Florida Statutes

61B-82.004, Florida Administrative Code.

2004-012PDF Download

Ethically, a certified mediator is required to preserve the quality of the profession, to maintain forthright business practices, Rule 10.600, not provide any service that would compromise the mediator’s integrity or impartiality, Rule 10.620, and should support the advancement of mediation by participating in public education, Rule 10.690(c).  Consistent with those provisions, it is permissive for the charges for CME to be set by competitive market forces. 

Rules 10.600, 10.620, 10.690(c), 10.900(a)

AOSC06-9 (Administrative Order Governing Certification of Mediators)

Note: Changes to the Administrative Order in 2006 may impact this opinion.

2001-001PDF Download

A mediator may not compensate another for merely making a referral, but may compensate a colleague or mediation service for actual work performed by that colleague or mediation service.

Rules 10.380(c)(3), 10.380(e)

99-011PDF Download

From the information provided, the panel finds nothing which would preclude a mediator from participating as mediator with the mediation services corporation referenced.

Rules 10.340, 10.380, 10.620

Note: Changes to the rules in 2000 may impact this opinion. 

99-005PDF Download

The rules imply that any gift to court personnel is prohibited. 

Rules 10.330(c), 10.530;

Section 112.148(6)(d), Florida Statutes

Note: Changes to the rules in 2000 may impact this opinion. 

98-006PDF Download

Pre-suit mediation agreements which name a specific individual as the exclusive mediator are suspect.

Rules10.330, 10.340(a) - (b),

10.620

MEAC 96-001

98-003PDF Download

There are no licensure requirements for mediators, the court may not appoint a corporation as a mediator, but may appoint an individual who is associated with a group.

Rules 10.100(b), 10.200, 10.520, 10.620; 1.720(f)

98-002PDF Download

Retention of mediation records is not an ethical issue.

MEAC 95-004

97-005PDF Download

Notification of the terms of payment must be furnished to the parties within a reasonable period of time prior to the mediation.

Rules 10.310(b)-(c), 10.380(c).

96-001PDF Download

Case referral service involvement.

Rules 10.330, 10.340(b), 10.380(e), 10.610, 10.620  

95-008PDF Download

A mediator who agrees to perform services for a specified fee via court-order, must do so unless relieved of that duty by the court.

Rules 10.200, 10.340(d), 10.380, 10.520, 10.620; 1.720(g)

Note: Changes to the rules in 2000 may impact this opinion. 

95-004PDF Download

Records retention/disposal requirements are not ethical in nature and therefore not within the jurisdiction of the MEAC.

Rules 10.360(c) and 10.380(d)

95-001PDF Download

If a mediator is not paid for services, the mediator may seek payment in any lawful manner.

Rules 10.380, 1.720(g)

Contact

For additional information please contact The Dispute Resolution Center at 850-921-2910 or at DRCmail@flcourts.org