About Mediation

Posted on November 17, 2012 · Posted in Mediation

What is Mediation— Goal of Mediation.

The goal of mediation is to reach a mutually acceptable written agreement instead of proceeding in court. Mediation can occur before a case is filed (pre filing mediation); during litigation, or even after the case is decided but is on appeal and at times during collection efforts.

The Process

Mediation is the process where people try to work out or settle their differences with the help of a trained impartial person, called a mediator often with the assistance of their respective legal counsel. The parties meet with the mediator in private sessions, sometimes called a caucus to discuss confidential matters. Sometimes the parties meet individually with the mediator. Together the parties and the mediator identify problems and consider possible solutions. If the parties reach mutually acceptable solutions the mediator writes their agreement.

Confidentiality Under Florida Law

Tthe mediation process is strictly confidential. The parties often have their attorney’s at the mediation conference. Sometimes successful mediation takes several conferences. The proceedings are informal, but are best utilized by parties who seek to avoid the uncertainty and unpredictability of court along with the mounting time required to continue mediation and expense of litigation. Nothing said,inferred or assumed are even admissions admissible.

What Report does the Judge Receive

The court is informed only of the following:

1. If a full or partial agreement is reached, the court is provided with a copy of the terms of such agreement;

2. If no agreement has been reached, but the parties jointly desire to continue to mediate, the court is informed that the parties have asked to continue the mediation for a later date or by conferences among or between the parties and the mediators, which may require additional sessions, with the court being informed only that the parties are continuing to mediate; or

3. If any party unilaterally insists that there is no set of circumstances in which a partial or full settlement can be reached, the mediator declares an impasse, and the only thing the court is informed about is the impasse but not who requested it. The court never is informed of the length of the sessions, the matters discussed, but rather, only that an attempt was made which was not successful.