CONTACT US
SEARCH

MEAC Opinions - Procedures

If you want to FIND a specific opinion or decision or a particular rule in this section, press the Ctrl+F (CONTROL + FIND) keys and enter the information that you want to find in the window that appears at upper left.

Opinion

Subject Matter

Current Cites

2017-020PDF Download

A mediator is entitled to be compensated for services rendered.  If the mediator is not compensated, the mediator has the same right as any other creditor to seek payment in any lawful manner.

Rule 1.720(f) and (k), Florida Rules of Civil Procedure MQAP Opinion 95-001

2017-014PDF Download

A mediator is accountable to the referring court with the ultimate authority over the case.  A mediator is responsible for forthright business practices and fostering good relationships.

Rules 10.500 and 10.600, Florida Rules for Certified and Court Appointed Mediators

2017-010PDF Download

Elder mediations offer the opportunity for elderly parents and their children to find common ground and solutions regarding provisions for the elderly parents’ health and well-being.  The Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed mediators may apply and the capacity of the elderly parents is paramount if they are to be signatories to any agreement.  If a parent is judicially determined to be incapacitated, then a guardian appointed by the court will represent the parent’s interests in disputed matters. 

Rules 10.310 and 10.420(b)(3), Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators 

2017-006PDF Download

A mediator may report “agreement,” “no agreement,” or “partial agreement” to the court without comment or recommendation.  No other descriptors or modifiers may be used in the mediator report unless the parties have consented to them in writing.

Rule 1.730(a) and (b), Florida Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 12.740(f)(3), Florida Family Law Rules of  Procedure, MEAC Opinions 2014-002, 2013-006, 2012-009, 2010-012, and 2010-007

2017-003PDF Download

A mediator shall not schedule a mediation in a manner that does not provide adequate time for the parties to fully exercise their right of self-determination.  The process must allow for the mediation to be adjourned and reconvened to complete the mediation if the parties so choose.  A mediator must respond in a manner consistent with the Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators when asked by pro se parties to provide information.  A mediator may assist the party in filling out Florida Supreme Court approved forms, but must ensure that the information provided for the forms is from the party whom they are assisting.

Rules 10.430, 10.310(d), 10.370(a), 10.400, and 10.620, Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed MediatorsMEAC Opinions 2000-009, 2001-003, and 2009-007

2016-006PDF Download

A mediator is required to fulfill the requirements of rule 10.420(a), Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators, prior to each mediation session.  The mediator’s ethical requirements under this rule cannot be waived by mediation parties or participants.  See MEAC 2014-008.

Rule 10.420(a)Mediation Confidentiality and Privilege Act, sections 44.401-406, Florida Statutes MEAC Opinion 2014-008

2016-005PDF Download

The Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators do not prohibit a mediator’s support staff from notarizing or witnessing signatures on settlement agreements.  The ethical standards contained in the rules do not extend to persons who are not Florida Supreme Court certified mediators or court-appointed mediators. 

Rule 10.220

2016-004PDF Download

The Committee maintains confidence in MEAC 2015-005. 

Rules 10.420 (c) and 10.520 and Committee Note to 10.420,Rule 1.730(b), Florida Rules of Civil Procedure MEAC Opinion 2015-005

2016-001PDF Download

A mediator is responsible for safeguarding the mediation process.  In the scenario described by the inquirer, if the mediator decides that the process is best served by using caucus as a procedural tool, there is no rule which prohibits the mediator from doing so.

Rules 10.310, 10.400, 10.410, 10.420(a)

2015-005PDF Download

The verbal discussion in the scenario presented satisfies the requirements of rule 10.420(c), Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators.  The rule does not require the mediator to write something regarding the terms of the agreement prior to the close of the mediation session if the parties have agreed who will memorialize the agreement and the process for its formalization.  The Committee Note to rule 10.420

Rule 10.420(c) and the Committee Note, Rule 1.730(b), Rule 8.290(o), Rule 12.740(f), Rule 9.740(b), MEAC Opinion 2004-004

2015-002PDF Download

Unless there is a local court rule, court order or administrative order requiring a mediator to identify the parties or participants who appeared for mediation, the mediator may, but is not required to do so.

Rules 10.500 and 10.520,Rules 1.720(b)(1)-(3) and 1.730(a)-(b), MEAC Opinions 2007-001, 2006-008, and 2005-007

2015-001PDF Download

Certified mediators do not have the authority to ban use of laptop devices or tablets during mediation.  Decisions regarding the reason for and the use of these devices are decisions for the parties to make unless there is a court order to the contrary.  

Rules 10.220, 10.230, 10.310, 10.360(a), 10.400, 10.410, 10.420 MEAC Opinion 2011-012 

2014-011PDF Download

MEAC notes a distinction between the filing of a notice of mediation with the court and notifying the parties in writing of the date, time, and specifics of a mediation.  The Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators and Florida procedural rules regarding mediation make mention of a mediator notifying parties but are silent as to whether a mediator may or may not file a notice of mediation with the court.  The Committee is of the opinion that a mediator may not file a notice of mediation with the court unless the parties have agreed to use the mediator; the court has designated a mediation program which selects that mediator; or the court selects that mediator directly. 

Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure 9.720, Florida Rules of Civil Procedure 1.700, Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure 12.010 and 12.740 – 12.742, and Florida Rule of Juvenile Procedure 8.290 

2014-008PDF Download

Rule 10.420(a), Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators, by use of the term “shall,” makes delivering an opening statement (orientation session), by a mediator, mandatory.  

Rules 10.200, 10.420(a) and (c), MQAP Opinion 1995-009 

2014-006PDF Download

A mediator may not file a Notice of Mediation unless there is a court order referring the parties to mediation and the parties have selected that mediator or the parties have stipulated in writing to mediation and to that mediator in their case.

Rule 10.520

2014-004PDF Download

In the scenario presented, if conducting a mediation in a language common to all parties and the mediator, it is inappropriate for a mediator to then memorialize any agreement reached in a language other than the one in which the mediation was conducted. 

Rules 10.340(d) and 10.410, MEAC Opinion 2011-017  

2014-002PDF Download

As is clearly stated in the civil, family, juvenile and appellate rules, a mediator may report only “agreement” or “no agreement” to the court without comment or recommendation.  No descriptors or modifiers may be used in the mediator report.

Note: This opinion is rescinded by MEAC 2017-006 and any other opinion inconsistent with it. 

Rules of Civil Procedure 1.730(a) – (b);  Rules of Juvenile Procedure 8.290(o)(2);Rules of Procedure 9.740(a); Rules of Procedure 12.740(f)(3)Sections 44.401-405, Florida Statutes; MEAC Opinions 2013-006, 2012-009, 2010-012 and 2010-007

2013-012PDF Download

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

2013-009PDF Download

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

2013-006PDF Download

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

2013-005PDF Download

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 

2012-009PDF Download

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) 

2011-018PDF Download

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 

2011-013PDF Download

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

2011-012PDF Download

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

2011-006PDF Download

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.

Rules 10.310 and 10.340,

Rule 1.720 Chapter 44, Sections 401-406, Florida Statutes, 2010 

2011-005PDF Download

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)Rules 10.310(a)-(d) and 10.420 (a) and (b)(1)-(3) MEAC Opinions 1995-009, 2001-004 and 2010-014 

2011-001PDF Download

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,

Rule 7.090, Rule 8.290,

Rule 9.740, Rule 12.740, Rule 10.520

2010-014PDF Download

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 Rule 1.720(c) MEAC Opinion 2004-006

2010-012PDF Download

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 MEAC opinions 2000-003, 2004-006, 2005-007, 2010-007, 2010-010 and 2010-011 AOSC09-54 and AOSC10-57

Rules 1.720(b) and 1.730(a) & (b) 

2010-011PDF Download

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 MEAC Opinions 2007-002 and 2010-007  AOSC09-54 and AOSC10-57 Rules 1.720(b) & (g) and 1.730(b)

2010-010PDF Download

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 MEAC Opinions 2009-0011, 2010-007, 2010-008, 2010-011 and 2010-012

2010-007PDF Download

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)Rule 1.730 (a)-(b), Florida Rules of Civil Procedure Sections 401-405, Mediation Confidentiality and Privilege Act

2010-005PDF Download

     Answer to Questions One and Two:  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.     Answer to Question Three:  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 

 

 

2010-004PDF Download

     Answer to Question 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.     Answer to Question 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.      Answer to Question 1C:  The actions of a judicial officer are governed by the Rules of Judicial Administration and therefore outside of the jurisdiction of the MEAC.     Answer to Question 2A:  A mediator is prohibited from taking on the dual role of mediator and notary.     Answer to Question 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 Rule 12.740(f)(2), Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure MEAC Opinions 2004-004, 2004-006, 2006-002, 2007-005  

2009-010PDF Download

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

2008-006PDF Download

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, Sections 44.403(2) and 44.405(1), Florida Statutes MEAC Opinion 2006-007 

2008-001PDF Download

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, Rule 1.730(a), Rule 8.290(o)(2), Rule 12.740(f)(3), Section 44.401- Section 44.406, Florida Statutes MEAC Opinions 2000-003 and 2006-003

 

2007-004PDF Download

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 MEAC Opinions 2001-007, 2003-007, 2003-008, 2004-006, 2006-002 and 2006-007

2007-003PDF Download

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, Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators Committee Note to Rule 10.330 

2007-002PDF Download

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 cannot 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) and 10.520, Section 44.405(4)(a), Florida Statutes 

2006-007PDF Download

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, Sections 44.403(1) and (2), 44.405(1) and 44.405(4)(a), Florida Statutes

2006-002PDF Download

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 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.

2005-007PDF Download

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; 1.720(f), 12.740(f) and 12.741(b)(6), 8.290(e) MEAC 2000-003 

2004-009PDF Download

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), 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)

2004-006PDF Download

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);Sections 44.401 – 44.406, Florida Statutes MEAC 95-009, 96-005, 99-012, 2001-004 Avril v. Civilmar, 605 So 2d 988 (Fla. 4th DCA 1992)Evans v. State, 603 So 2d 15 (Fla. 5th DCA 1992) Chabotte v. Chabotte, 707 So 2d 923 (Fla. 4th DCA 1998) Note: Changes to the rules in 2006 may impact this opinion.

2003-010PDF Download

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; 12.740 Section 61.183, Florida Statutes MEAC 95-009

2003-009PDF Download

A mediator has no affirmative duty at the beginning of a mediation to inquire about a representative’s authority.

Rule 10.420(a) MEAC 99-002 Note: Changes to the rules in 2006 may impact this opinion.

2003-004PDF Download

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, 12.740 and 12.741 MEAC 96-001 and 98-006 

2003-001PDF Download

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; 1.720,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

2002-001PDF Download

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), 1.720(b) MEAC 99-002 (a) Carbino v. Ward, 801 So. 2d 1028 (Fla. 5th DCA 2001)

2001-007PDF Download

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

2001-004PDF Download

(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); 1.720(b) and 1.730(a), 8.290(l) and 8.290(o)(2),12.740(d) and (f), MEAC 95-003, 95-009, 96-005, 99-012 Note: Changes to the statute in 2004 and to the rules and MEAC 96-005 & 99-01 in 2006 may impact this opinion.  

2000-007PDF Download

The appointment of a non-certified mediator violates procedural rules.

Rules 10.200, 10.330(a), 10.340(a) and (c), 10.620; 1.720(f)(1)(B); 8.290(e)(2)(B);12.741(b)(6)(A)(ii)

2000-005PDF Download

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; 1.720(b); MEAC 95-009, 99-008

2000-004PDF Download

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)

2000-003PDF Download

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); 1.730(a); 8.290(o)(2), 12.740(f)(3) Note: Changes to the rules in 2006 may impact this opinion.

2000-001PDF Download 

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); AOSC06-9 (Administrative Order Governing Certification of Mediators) Note: Changes to the Administrative Order in 2006 may impact this opinion.

99-004PDF Download

With agreement of the parties, a non-lawyer may assist at a court-ordered mediation and participate in the negotiations.

Rules - none cited 

99-003PDF Download

A mediator has discretion regarding providing his/her notes upon request of a party.

Rule 10.330(a) 

98-007PDF Download 

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); 1.720(b); MEAC 95-002; Rules Regulating the Florida Bar 3-8.1(i) Note: Changes to the rules in 2000 may impact this opinion.

98-005PDF Download

When a meeting take place without the presence of the mediator, it is not a mediation.

Rules 10.420(b); 1.720(c), 1.720(d)

97-004PDF Download 

A mediator should not mediate if an armed deputy is necessary.

Rules 10.360(a), 10.420(b);Section 44.405(2), Florida Statutes Note: Changes to the statute in 2004 and rules in 2006 may impact this opinion.

97-001PDF Download 

The panel believes that the mediator is not prohibited from having contact with either party, either before or after the mediation. 

Rules 10.330(a), 1.720(e), 12.741(b)(5), Opinion applicable for county, family and circuit. May not be applicable to dependency.

95-009PDF Download 

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);1.720(b) and (d), 1.730(a), 1.750(e); 8.290(l) and (o)(2); 12.740(d) and (f) Note: Changes to the rules in 2006 may impact this opinion.   

94-001PDF Download 

With consent of counsel and parties and stipulation of confidentiality, contact with parties after mediation in an additional effort to resolve case permissible.

Rules 10.200, 10.220, 10.360(a); Sections 44.405(2) and 90.408, Florida Statutes Note: Changes to the statute in 2004 and rules in 2006 may impact this opinion.

Contact

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