Ansbacher Law attorneys are experienced in representing clients in mediation. We put the same effort into preparing for mediation as we do preparing for trial. We present our client’s case to the other side and advise our client throughout the process. If settlement terms are reached at mediation, our extensive contract experience allows us to assist our client in “buttoning down” the deal so that a poorly written settlement agreement does not resolve the first dispute only to result in another claim.
Barry Ansbacher is certified by the Florida Supreme Court as a Certified Circuit Mediator. Certification requires 40-hours of special training in mediation skills and techniques. To maintain certification ongoing education in mediation law and skills is also required. Appointment as a Certified Circuit Mediator allows Barry Ansbacher to mediate civil disputes when selected by the parties to a dispute or when appointed by a Florida Circuit Court Judge in the course of a civil lawsuit pursuant to section 44.102 Florida Statutes. If you are interested in scheduling Mr. Ansbacher to conduct a mediation of your dispute, just contact us.
Mediation is a process for parties to resolve any civil dispute. Unlike the result of a court judgment or arbitration award, any settlement through mediation requires the approval of all parties. Although a settlement achieved through mediation is always voluntary, the decision to participate in the mediation is not always up to the parties. Contracts often require parties to attempt resolution through mediation before filing a lawsuit. In addition, in almost every civil lawsuit, the judge will order the parties to mediate. So you may have to attend and participate in mediation, but a mediator can never require anyone to agree to a settlement.
To encourage open discussion, everything said at a mediation is strictly confidential and privileged pursuant to the Mediation Confidentiality and Privilege Act. The act applies to mediation conducted by agreement of the parties or required by the court unless the parties specifically opt out in writing. In general, the law prohibits any party participating in mediation, including the mediator, from disclosing anything communicated by another party at (and in some cases before) the mediation. This confidentiality requirement can be enforced by legal action, including equitable relief (an order from the court requiring compliance) and recovery of money damages. The party bringing a claim for violation of mediation confidentiality may also be able to recover the costs of mediation and their attorney’s fees incurred in bringing the enforcement action.
In most instances, the mediator is selected by the parties to the dispute or their attorneys. The Supreme Court of Florida, through the Dispute Resolution Center, certifies mediators in the areas of the county court, family, circuit court, dependency, and appellate cases. Although most mediators are also attorneys, non-attorneys may also be certified through appropriate training and experience. Mediators who are certified by the Florida Supreme Court are bound by the ethical standards imposed by the Florida Supreme Court, in addition to the Mediation Confidentiality and Privilege Act. Barry Ansbacher is certified as a circuit civil mediator.
In the context of homeowner association disputes, Florida Law, section 720.311 Florida Statutes, requires mediation of most disputes before a lawsuit is filed. Two notable exceptions to this requirement are challenges to the election of the board of directors and collection of assessments by the association. Ansbacher Law has experience in mediation of homeowner association vs. owner and owner vs. owner disputes. Barry Ansbacher is also available to serve as a mediator for such disputes.
Contact us at 904-737-4600 to schedule a consultation.