ADR Section News & Tips November 2018
Message From the Chair
It is the season of giving thanks. As Section Chair, I would like to issue a great, big, heartfelt “thank-you” to the members of the Executive Council for this section. These are the people who have risen to the occasion in so many instances to allow the section to run smoothly and meet your expectations as members. Not to mention, these are the individuals who come up with many of the ideas for the CLE offerings of the section and who do the day-to-day committee work. I would be remiss if I didn’t also say how much we appreciate and are grateful for the work of our PR Consultant, Lisa Tipton, whose tweets and posts help us stay abreast of current changes in ADR and allow the Ssection to keep its members informed of those changes as well.  

I also want to thank you, the section members, for all of your input and feedback over the first six months of this program year. We are working hard to address what you don’t like or think needs improving, as well as trying to keep offering what you do want, how and when you want it.  

We will be coming to you again to ask for your help and feedback over the next six months. We will be embarking on a project with our liaison from the ADR Rules & Policy Committee for the Florida Supreme Court to accept input about MEAC and suggestions for improving or revising existing opinions. We would also like to broaden our request for general input into a section survey of the members. 

Last, but far from least, I hope every one of you has a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with family and friends. 

Christina Magee, Chair
Brevard Mediation Services, Satellite Beach
Waiting Until the Last Minute to Earn Your CME credits? 
We Can Help.
By Kim Torres, ADR Section Chair-Elect
Torres Mediation Services

The ADR Section has on-demand webinars available to purchase and review at your convenience. Webinars presented by the ADR Section provide credit for both CLEs and CMEs. The following are available as podcasts (downloadable audio) and online seminars (on-demand):

Prices range from 1 hour of CLE/CME credit for $50 for ADR Section members/$85 for non-section members to 3 hours of CLE/CME credit for $145 for ADR Section members/$180 non-section members.

There are two ways to find content for CLE courses on The Florida Bar website:

  1. Search for upcoming live courses or audio CD/video DVD at this link, and search by topic area, or sort by ADR as the section sponsor (search Alternate Dispute Resolution).
  2. Visit the Florida Bar's InReach online catalog and search for Alternative Dispute Resolution or other subject areas.
Points to Remember Regarding Continuing Mediation Credits:

  • All ADR Section presentations qualify for both CLE and CME credits, except for presentations on arbitration.
  • CMEs are self-reporting, so there are no pre-approved course numbers for attendance.
  • Recertification with the DRC is on a two-year cycle. CLE reporting requirements with The Florida Bar are on a three-year cycle.
  • All recertifications for mediation require domestic violence credits, or interpersonal violence education, as it is now called.  Two credits are required for all areas of mediation recertification, except it is a total of 4 hours for family law recertification. Look for domestic violence courses within the family law section of The Florida Bar's CLE offerings.
  • One hour of diversity/cultural awareness and four hours of mediator ethics are required for mediator recertification. Legal ethics will not necessarily be accepted for mediator ethics requirements. Make sure it is a “mediation” training, which provides for approved ethics credits under a CLE course number for qualification of both CLE and CME ethics credits.
  • CME reporting is subject to audit. Keep a copy of the agenda and certificate of attendance for documentation.
  • Training and education on arbitration does not count toward CME credits.
  • It can take up to six weeks for an application for recertification to be approved. If it has been submitted before the deadline, the applicant can be allowed a grace period while the application is pending.

For more information on presentations by the ADR Section for CLE/CME credits, contact Kathy McLeroy or Kim Torres , or use the links above. We are also seeking dynamic practitioners to present webinars on topics of value to dispute resolution professionals.
Florida Bar Member Benefits
Tap into more than 60 free or discounted products and services—more than offered by any other state bar. From sending packages to sending flowers. From booking hotels to searching case law. From refinancing loans to buying car insurance. The Florida Bar works diligently to identify potential discounted member benefits that Bar members will find useful, and more than a dozen Florida Bar Member Benefit providers  offer free trials, demos or initial services , including practice resources, legal forms and legal research.
Salud! Health and Wellness Committee News
The ADR Section of The Florida Bar has constituted a new committee to address health, wellness and diversity amongst our profession. The newly formed committee includes:

  • Patrick Russell, Chair, a certified civil court mediator and trial partner with Lydecker | Diaz.
  • Adam Myron (Richman Greer).
  • Angela Miller (private practice).
  • Scott Rogers (University of Miami School of Law).
  • Bruce Blitman (Bruce Blitman Mediation).
  • Thomas Loffredo (Gray Robinson).
  • John Salmon (Salmon & Dulberg Dispute Resolution).
The initial focus of the Health and Wellness Committee will be to collect and distribute resources to the membership on all topics involving health, wellness, work-life balance issues, stress reduction, mindfulness and meditation practices, as well as events and webinars that address all those issues. Look for tips and quotes on these matters via the ADR Section’s media feeds under the hashtag:  #HealthWellnessADR . “Like us” on the ADR Section’s Facebook page and on Twitter .
Finally, a new website is being considered for the purpose of hosting health and wellness resources, creating original content, hosting webinars, and providing updates for new events and fundraisers that address health and wellness.
Join us!  If you would like to volunteer on the Health and Wellness Committee or have your own tips, quotes, or resources to share, please reach out to Patrick Russell by email at .
DRC Renewal Forms and Information
The Florida Dispute Resolution Center was created during the mid 1980s to provide assistance to the courts in developing ADR programs and to conduct education and research on ADR in general.

The DRC's forms and information page contains links to key Continuing Mediator Education resources:

If you have a mediator renewal question, email Dawn Burlison  or  DRCmail@flcourts.or g
Lawyers Reaching Out to Lawyers With Mental Health Problems
Excerpts from a recent article shared by the ADR Section Health & Wellness Committee:

Depression and anxiety are all too common at law firms. One study  suggests that as many as half of all lawyers in the U.S. will struggle with one or both of these conditions at some point in their careers.

If mental health problems are addressed, it often is through the law firm's human resources department or an employee assistance program. But these might not be the best people to help before a mental health issue gets out of hand. Other lawyers who work side by side with the lawyer who is suffering could be in the best position to assist, and here's why:

  1. Suffering colleagues often are reticent to approach HR or an EAP for fear of losing their jobs. They worry their problems will be used against them or damage their reputations.
  2. Lawyers don’t seek help through HR because of stigma. They don’t want to expose their struggles with these problems for fear that others will judge them as being “lazy,” “weak” or unable to “cut it” as lawyers. Lawyers understand the high-stress loads of fellow lawyers. They are much more likely to get it and want to help in a confidential way.

What can YOU do to help a colleague with mental health issues? Read more to find out.
Voices for Children of Broward County, Inc. 7th Annual Soaring for Children
Voices for Children of Broward County will host its 7th Annual Soaring for Children Event on Nov. 28 at 6 p.m., at the Crystal Ballroom at the Venue. Voices for Children is the Broward County nonprofit that works to ensure that every abused, neglected and abandoned child in state care in Broward County has a volunteer guardian ad litem and financial resources for each child's health, educational, and social needs.

If you have questions about the event or cause, please contact Board of Directors Chair Arielle P. Capuano at or 954-703-2110.
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. 
ADR Section EC Meeting and CLE During The Florida Bar Winter Meeting
The next in-person ADR Section Executive Council meeting is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 17, 2019, at the Doubletree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld. Every section member is invited and welcome to attend. We value your input and involvement.

Also, a grievance training CLE seminar is tentatively scheduled for the same afternoon. We will provide registration details as soon as they are available. We hope to see you there!
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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