ADR Section News & Tips February 2020
Message From the Chair

The strategic planning session at our mid-year meeting was productive and informative. We heard you. Our Executive Counsel of dedicated ADR professionals thoroughly vetted ideas. 

Thank you to everyone who responded to our membership survey. Your comments were thoughtful and assisted in providing direction for continuing programming.
Stay tuned for:
  • Webinars that provide both CLE and CME credits in required categories.
  • More on Arbitration.
  • Monthly updates and information on ADR topics.

Your involvement is crucial to the success of the ADR section. Please jump in. We'd love to work with you.

Kim Watson Torres
2019-2020 Section Chair
Torres Mediation Services, Melbourne
Are YOU Jason Bourne?

What an exceptional gift to start the New Year with an attitude of POSITIVITY . This is the ability to look for solutions and not be defeated by obstacles. When you watch action-adventure movies, the hero always finds a way out. I think of Jason Bourne crashing through windows, fire escapes and roof tops to find an escape route above the city streets. 
Instead of capitulating to defeat, the hero is optimistic in finding an alternative to achieve success.  This is an important quality in a mediator, and even more impactful is conveying this idea of possibilities to the parties. Let’s strive for POSITIVITY this year, in our work and in our personal lives. We can make a difference.
Upcoming Events
Florida Bar News
Florida Bar Legislative Update
For our section members who are interested in following any bills and proposed legislative changes that impact the practice of law, follow this link to stay up-to-date.

The ADR Section also keeps an eye on matters that involve ADR processes. We’ll keep you posted of any changes in mediation, arbitration and other forms of ADR.
ADR Section News
Section Committee Preference Forms Due April 30
Committee service for the ADR Section is an excellent way to demonstrate your leadership skills and network with other ADR professionals from across the state. Committee preference forms for the 2020-21 Bar year are due by April 30. Appointments are for the Bar term July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021. Committee service is voluntary and travel expenses are not reimbursed. We encourage you to get involved!
ADR Section Membership Survey Results
Summary by Chris Magee

Many thanks to all of you who took the time and effort to respond to our survey of section members. We had a robust response of 12%, or 117 responses from a total of 957 distributed surveys. Key points from the survey results are summarized here.  If you would like to see a complete copy of the survey results, please contact Stefanie Svisco, the section's Program Administrator, at .

Eighty percent of our section members have been Florida Bar members for more than 20 years. 81% are certified mediators with the DRC in one or more of the certified categories. 78% are Circuit Civil mediators, who were the largest group in any one category among our respondents. The median experience level as a certified mediator among our respondents was 15 years.   

Fifty-nine percent of respondents identified themselves as Florida Supreme Court qualified arbitrators.

We asked respondents to break out their time to distinguish between time spent as a neutral and time spent as an advocate or in another capacity.  66% (out of 100%) is the share that section members reported working as a neutral in mediation or arbitration, with 8% as an advocate in dispute resolution, 23% as a lawyer not in a dispute resolution and 3% as other activity. 

The top three reasons for joining the ADR Section were, in rank order:
  1. Better my knowledge of mediation;
  2. Better my skills as an ADR professional;
  3. CLE and CME

A majority (56%) of respondents are happy to receive monthly communication from the section and the monthly News & Tips is well-received (59% very or somewhat satisfied). Twitter, Facebook and other social media efforts are not succeeding at the same level and the section leadership will review those approaches.  

Our section membership will likely renew (70%) and will do so even if the membership fee is increased by $10 (89%). 

Many wonderful ideas and suggestions were proffered by section members as areas they would like to see the section explore via CLEs or in general. Among those was a greater emphasis on advocate-training for dispute-resolution processes and ethics; also requested was more focus on arbitration as well as family mediation and elder care mediation. The section’s function as a clearinghouse for information and networking for all members of The Florida Bar who are interested in ADR was well-recognized and supported by section members.  

The information derived from this survey is essential to the leadership’s ability to move the section forward in a meaningful way. We thank you again for your time and trouble.  If you have any additional ideas that you want to contribute, please reach out to the Section Chair, Kim Torres, or any of the ADR Section Executive Council. 
ADR Section Member News
Kim Torres recently co-authored an article called "Detecting and Addressing Elder Abuse Within the Family: An Effective Response Through Eldercare Coordination." The article is published in the January 2020 issue of ACResolution, the quarterly magazine of the Association for Conflict Resolution.
ADR Section Chair-Elect Oscar Sanchez received the 2019 S. Austin Peele Distinguished Trustee Award from the UF Law Center Association Board of Trustees. The award is in memory of Austin Peele, who was a UF Law supporter, Trustee and distinguished Florida Bar member—and it recognizes a Trustee for his or her service and dedication to UF Law. Oscar is a former chair of the association’s board of trustees. He earned a J.D. degree from UF Law in 1982.
Christy L. Foley co-taught Mediation Mastery I in January, a seminar hosted by CPLS, P.A. of Orlando. The all-day seminar covered mediation techniques, ethics and business practices. The small-group class included group discussion, exercises and lecture. She will be teaching Mediation Mastery II on March 13.
Here's a great photo of ADR Section Membership Chair Christy Foley of E-Mediation Services representing the ADR Section last month at The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Affiliate Outreach Conference in St. Pete. Thank you, Christy, for all that you do for the section.
CLE Greatest Hits
Based on requests from members, we are happy to present CLE/CME webinars on the following topics:
March 9, 12 - 1 PM. Join the ADR Section for a live audio webcast by Christy Foley , Chair of Florida's Mediator Ethics Advisory Committee and Immediate Past ADR Section Chair Chris Magee . This 60-minute ethics webinar will update attendees on content of recent ethics opinions and discuss practical problems presented for mediators and advocates under scenarios presented to MEAC. Course 3461. 1.0 Ethics CLE and 1.0 Ethics CME credit. Section members register for only $50.
March 16, 12-12:50 PM. "Turning Mediation Missteps into Momentum" is a live audio webcast by attorney/mediator Chris Magee . This CLE will provide mediators and advocates in mediation insight into common mediation missteps. Learn about common ways that mediations get off track and discuss ways to get back on track and strive for resolution. This seminar is targeted to mediation advocates and mediators who want to better understand typical roadblocks in mediations and ways to address these issues while maintaining progress toward resolution. Course 3855. 1.0 General CLE, 1.0 Civil Trial CLE and 1.0 General CME credit.
April 7, 12 - 12:50 PM live audio webcast. Elizabeth Siano Harris of Harris Appellate Law Office will present an overview of key factors a mediator should consider during an appellate mediation. 1 General, 1 Appellate Practice, 1 Civil Trial CLE and 1 General, 1 Appellate CME. ADR Section members register for only $50. Course 3459.

• Understanding Appellant’s Burden on Appeal
• Presumption of Correctness
• What is the Issue on Appeal? Types of Adjudication
• The Trial Court Committed Error, but Does it Matter? Harmless Error Analysis
• Does the Trial Court have Jurisdiction During the Pendency of the Appeal – Rule 9.600
• Understanding What Comes After the Appellate Court’s Opinion the Practicalities
April 10, 12-1 PM live audio webcast. "Online Dispute Resolution: Are the Ethics Different?" presented by Christy Foley of E-Mediation Services.
Why not earn CLE and CME credit at the same time? The ADR Section offers webinars and seminars that can be reported for both CLE and CME credits (except for presentations on the topic of Arbitration). Take a look at our catalog of offerings . We are adding more selections all the time. 
MEAC Opinions
Summarized by MEAC Chair Christy Foley

2019 - 004: A mediator does not decide who attends a mediation; the parties decide who attends their mediation. In a family law mediation, the mediator inquired about whether s/he could require the children to attend the mediation. MEAC said that the mediator may not require the children to attend the mediation. Rather, the parties to the dispute must decide who attends their mediation.
2019 - 005: A mediator is neither required to nor prohibited from reporting the attendees at mediation. In a personal injury case where the defendant didn't personally appear at mediation, but his/her attorney and insurance adjuster did appear, and there's an order from the court that all parties must participate in the mediation, the mediator wondered if s/he had to report to the court that the defendant didn't personally appear at mediation. However, MEAC highlighted that the rules for mediators don't specifically require or prohibit a mediator from reporting that information, so it's up to the mediator whether to report that party's non-appearance.
2019 - 006: A mediator's report may not include information about mediation communications, but may include a list of the parties who attended the mediation (although it is not required to). A party canceled mediation with less than 24 hours’ notice. The mediator inquired about whether the cancellation could be reported in his/her Mediation Conference Report and whether s/he could charge the cancelling party a cancellation fee without charging the other party any fee. MEAC reiterated that emails and verbal discussions with the parties regarding cancellations are considered mediation communications and cannot be reported to the court in a Mediation Conference Report. Additionally, MEAC said that parties are to be charged in an appropriate manner, so one party could potentially be charged a cancellation fee without the other party incurring such a cost. 
2019 - 007: Mediators who have previously worked as an attorney for a company may, under some circumstances, mediate cases in which that company is a party. An attorney-mediator who used to be a managing attorney at GEICO and who receives a vested pension from GEICO inquired about whether s/he could mediate cases in which GEICO is a party. MEAC said that, yes, s/he could mediate such cases IF the conflict of interest was disclosed to the parties, consented to by the parties, and if the specific cases were ones s/he had no knowledge of while working as a representative of GEICO.
Photos from The Florida Bar Winter Meeting
Your hard-working Executive Council members after the Feb. 6 meeting in Orlando.
Photos from the Feb. 6 ADR Section social networking event with the Business Law Section of The Florida Bar during the Winter Meeting. We appreciated the opportunity to spend time with our Business Law Section friends and colleagues and with leaders from several other Florida Bar Sections! (📷 Credit Christy Foley)
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