ADR Section News & Tips January 2019
Message From the Chair
A new year and many new and exciting items to tell you about in this newsletter. We are eagerly anticipating the inaugural launch of the ADR Section’s Mentoring Academy in March and will start to promote this in upcoming weeks. Stay tuned for all the details.  

Another item I am happy to share with our section members is information about the many and diverse CLE opportunities we are developing. Take a look below for Kim Torres’ (current Chair-Elect) report on all the CLE efforts that are underway. Ethics, appellate, labor and employment, construction – we have something for everyone.

Our mid-year meeting took place in Orlando on January 17, 2019. If you have the time and ability to attend an in-person meeting (our next one is during The Florida Bar Annual Convention in Boca Raton in June 2019), I heartily recommend it. First, our Executive Council is a group of folks committed to advancing ADR in all its forms throughout the state. They are passionate, fun and uplifting. So much of what neutrals do is on our own, firmly ensconced in the role of not taking sides. Getting the chance to advocate for ADR with others is an energizing and inspiring change.   

As reported in December, we have a request from the Florida Supreme Court’s Rules & Policy Committee for input from our section members on MEAC opinions as well as the ethical rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators. We will be sending out a separate e-blast about the form we will be using to capture this information and advance this project. Please keep a lookout for it and note that the response time will be closing in March 2019.  

Christina Magee, Chair
Brevard Mediation Services, Satellite Beach
Grievance Mediation and Fee Arbitration Program Training
Arbitration training panel and organizers. L-R: Gary Salzman, Louise Zeuli, Meah Tell, Adam Myron, Christina Magee, Shanell Schuyler and Sandy Myers.
Mediation training panel and organizers. L-R: Gary Salzman, Louise Zeuli, Charles Castagna, Shanell Schuyler, Sandy Myers and Adam Myron.
Arbitrators and mediators who work with The Florida Bar’s Grievance Mediation and Fee Arbitration Program participated in two-hour training programs by the Standing Committee on Grievance Mediation and Fee Arbitration on Jan. 17 at the Bar’s Winter Meeting. Each of these training modules was specifically geared for training volunteers in the Grievance Mediation and Fee Arbitration Program under Chapter 14, Rules Regulating The Florida Bar.
Executive Council Meeting
Thank you to everyone who joined us during  The Florida Bar  Winter Meeting for ADR Section events. We are honored that  Florida Bar President  Michelle Suskauer, President-Elect  John Stewart  and President-Elect Designate  Dori Foster-Morales  visited our Executive Council meeting. We also had a great turnout for the arbitration and mediation training programs supported by the section and hosted by the Standing Committee on Grievance Mediation and Fee Arbitration.
Health and Wellness
How Lawyers Can Change Their Lives with Meditation: Free Webinar

From Rocket Matter: "Lawyers are in what’s notoriously known as one of the most stressful professions. In fact, the legal field is riddled with depression, high suicide rates, and low job satisfaction. However, science has shown that regular meditation is one of the best ways to combat these effects as it can help improve your mental and overall health. We’ve partnered with the experts behind Muse, the brain sensing headband. In this webinar, experts will teach you how to meditate and make the most out of it. You don't want to miss this!"

Learning Objectives:
  • Learn the basics of meditation such as breath awareness and how you can start doing it consistently. 
  • Discover how meditation can decrease stress, enhance your performance at work, and improve your interactions with co-workers and clients.
  • Hear about the benefits of using technology like Muse, the brain sensing headband, that gives you real-time feedback on what’s happening in your brain while you meditate. 
  • Find out how to measure your progress over time so that you can improve your focus and meditation practice.

Thank you to the ADR Section's Health & Wellness Committee for providing this content.
March 8 – 9 Mediation Mentoring Academy
Stay tuned for details on this spring's Mediation Mentoring Academy, scheduled for March 8 - 9 in Tampa.

You must be a certified mediator and ADR Section member to attend. Designed specifically to mentor younger and newly certified mediators, the academy will benefit dispute resolution professionals who would like to take their skills and practices to the next level. Some of Florida's most well-known and experienced ADR professionals will serve as faculty. Participants will earn 10 CLE and CME hours. Live presentation only. Limited to 50 spots. Registration details coming soon.
Welcome New EC Members
Welcome to Kathy McLeroy and Patrick Russell , dispute resolution professionals who have volunteered to share their skills and expertise. For information on how to get more involved in the ADR Section, contact ADR Section Chair-Elect Kim Torres at .    

Kathy McLeroy is a shareholder at Carlton Fields. She has extensive experience resolving disputes as a litigator, mediator and arbitrator. As a trial lawyer, she has substantial experience representing creditors in disputes with debtors in all forums, including state court, federal court, bankruptcy court and in arbitration proceedings. Kathy regularly arbitrates and mediates disputes arising from contract disputes between health care providers. She works with judgment holders to enforce and collect large commercial judgments, both domestic and international. She also represents commercial banks, mortgage holders, property owners, title insurers, and real estate developers in real property disputes and mortgage foreclosures. Clients seek her guidance on matters involving receivership law, and she serves as a real estate receiver and counsel for receivers.

Patrick Russell is a partner at Lydecker | Diaz and has been practicing law since 1994. He practices out of the firm’s Miami office where he maintains an active trial practice throughout the State of Florida. Prior to joining Lydecker | Diaz, Mr. Russell was a Bar Counsel and ethics trial lawyer for The Florida Bar. He has more than two decades of previous legal experience in private practice, and this diverse legal experience includes business entities and startups, commercial litigation, condominium associations, debt collection and judgment enforcement, insurance law, personal injury, product liability, and real estate law matters.
Should Those Who Mediate Disputes In Family and Circuit Civil Court Divisions Be Certified?
The Florida Bar News recently covered the proposal by the Supreme Court Committee on ADR Rules and Policy to require the use of certified mediators in the county, circuit civil, family law and dependency court systems. The committee’s recommendation will trigger a public comment period if the Supreme Court acts on the proposal.

According to the article, the ADR Section has promised to reach out to other sections to help shape a comment and is “willing to do what its members do best—work with other sections to forge a meaningful response.” Other sections would be free to use the omnibus comment as a starting point to base any objections.

Section Chair Christina Magee is quoted, “At our hearts, we are mediators. We facilitate resolution, we don’t thrive on conflict.”

The ADR Executive Council in January 2017 voted 13-5 to support mandating Supreme Court certification to mediate in all filed cases. The council also forwarded a recommendation to bind all mediators to the Supreme Court rules on mediator ethics and discipline. A November 2016 survey of the section’s 928 members supported these concepts.

Former ADR Section Chair Robert Cole said, “It’s not about turf protection, business, or economics. The ultimate goal is to make sure that we have qualified capable mediators who understand the mediation statutes and rules as well as the importance of applicable ethics and standards.”
Upcoming CLE and CME Opportunities
Content provided by ADR Section Chair-Elect Kim Torres. Registration details coming soon. CLE/CME approval pending.

Practice Tips to Streamline your Arbitration. March 7 webinar by Deb Maston and Bill Christopher. Clients choose arbitration for resolution of their disputes because it is faster and less expensive. It is their lawyers’ responsibility to make that happen. Learn tips on how to collaborate with opposing counsel to avoid expensive motion practice and excessive discovery; how to handle experts for reports, depositions and testimony; what the arbitrator wants for post-hearing memoranda vs. closing arguments; and more.

Human Trafficking. Webinar by Marc Petruccelli and Lisa Haba.

Technology Series: Quick Books, Word and Excel. Webinars by Trina Downey and Sarah Kay.

Diversity and Cultural Awareness. Webinar by Trizia Eavenson and Donna Smith.

Arbitration Clauses in Divorce and Uber Contracts. Webinar by Natalie Paskiewicz and Sarah Kay.

Drafting Arbitration Clauses. Live seminar during The Florida Bar Annual Convention. Presented by A.J. Horowitz, Jesse Diner, Adele Stone and Michael Lax.

Ethics presentation at DRC Conference. Live seminar by Michael Lax, Jeffrey Fleming and Christy Foley.
Free Cyber Security Training Offered By Legalfuel
The three-quarters of Florida lawyers who practice alone or in small firms probably don’t consider themselves likely targets of sophisticated hackers. But law firms are potential gold mines of personal, financial, medical, and commercial data easily marketed on the dark web.

A recent survey found that 62 percent of law firms do not have a designated information security professional, only 31 percent have formal cyber security training and only 41 percent have formally documented cyber security policies, such as an “IRP,” or incident response plan.
“Lawyers are under attack,” says Miami lawyer Alfred Saikali of Shook, Hardy & Bacon, a cyber security expert who advises law firms on safer methods for collecting, storing, and transmitting client data. “There has become an adage in the cyber security industry that law firms are the weak link.”

Saikali’s 52-minute video,  Cybersecurity for the Everyday Lawyer ,” was added in November to The Florida B ar’s  LegalFuel  Speaker S eries—“A Better Lawyer, a Better You.” The video advises lawyers how to comply with the Florida Information Protection Act of 2014, which makes professionals who collect data from the public potentially liable for data breeches. When it comes to cyber security, Saikali stresses the acronym “TAP”—technological safeguards, administrative safeguards, and physical safeguards.
Recent MEAC Opinions
Special thanks to ADR Section member Christy Foley of The Law Office of Christy L. Foley in Winter Park for providing the opinion summaries.

2018-002 . Mediator adds own research to discussion. Addresses whether, during the course of a mediation, a mediator should mention an appellate decision he found in his own research that would significantly help the case of one party but that would also significantly hinder the case of another party. In essence, MEAC stated that the mediator may not mention the appellate decision he researched (if the parties don't mention it themselves) because presenting evidence that would clearly favor one party would breach the mediator’s requirement to remain impartial. Additionally, MEAC stated that the parties' self-determination would be violated since neither party mentioned that appellate decision or raised that decision as an issue. 

2018-001 . Mediator includes disclosure statement about mediator’s role in final agreement. Addresses whether a mediator can include a statement in the parties' final agreement that says: the mediator stayed neutral during the mediation, did not give anyone legal advice during the mediation, did not make decisions for the parties, and only acted as a scrivener when drafting the agreement (not as an attorney/legal advocate). In essence, MEAC stated that including such language in the final agreement could make the parties feel coerced into signing off on those terms if they want a written agreement to settle their dispute. MEAC also stated that such language adds substantive issues to the written agreement that the parties didn't raise themselves and those terms only benefit the mediator, which violates the parties' right to self-determination. Therefore, such a statement shouldn’t be included in the parties’ final agreement. 

2017-021 . Mediator repeats words to deaf party. Addresses whether a mediator can restate one party's words to another party in the case where Party A is on the phone and Party B is deaf, but can read lips. The mediator wanted to restate what Party A said so that Party B could read his lips and participate in the mediation. In that case, MEAC essentially said that a mediator cannot perform dual roles as an interpreter and a mediator. An interpreter or translator would be needed in such a case.

2017-019 . Mediator is subpoenaed to testify. Addresses whether a mediator who is subpoenaed to testify about a mediation may file a motion to quash the subpoena. In essence, MEAC stated that such a motion could be filed in order to protect the confidentiality nature of a mediation. However, the mediator could appear in court and object in person, if he wanted to do that instead of filing a motion to quash the subpoena. MEAC also stated that a mediator in this position should consult an attorney (who's knowledgeable about the topic) to get more specific advice. 
Get Involved With the Section: Join a Committee
The ADR Section has numerous active commmittees that welcome your involvement. Please contact the chairs/co-chairs listed below if you want to learn more.

Call For Authors and Speakers
The ADR Section is seeking volunteers to contribute to our CLE events and publications. We welcome new perspectives! If you have a recent blog post or speech that you can submit as an article for an upcoming issue of the ADR biannual magazine (newly renamed "The Common Ground") please contact Michelle Jernigan or Natalie Paskiewicz. If you have a CLE topic idea you'd like to present, please contact Kim Torres or Kathy McLeroy or download and complete this short survey and email it to Chair-Elect Kim Torres.
Submit Your News
The ADR Section monthly newsletter will publish updates about your firm, recent speaking engagements, awards, announcements and more. Please email your news to ADR Section Communications Consultant Lisa Tipton at .
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