An Open Letter to Judges in Florida: Why Non-Binding Arbitration Stinks and the Role of Early Mediation in Dispute Resolution

The passage of the Florida Mediation Confidentiality and Privilege Act in 1985 (§44.401 et. seq.) and the adoption of new rules of civil procedure in 1987 governing mediation changed the landscape of dispute resolution in Florida. Mediation became a fixture in the dispute resolution process following legislative action and then judicial implementation. However, over the […]

The Mediator’s Wish List

Now that the holiday season is in full swing, you are probably seeking holiday gift-giving lists. Most mediators want the same thing. Here is a list of things most mediators would like to receive in case you are still shopping for the holidays. Mediators would like attorneys to confer with one another in advance to […]

Happy Thanksgiving: A Message to Lawyers Young and Not So Young

Recently I spoke to the Young Lawyers Section of the Florida Bar and the presentation was “Ten Things I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me 30 Years Ago.”  This article flows from that presentation. Balancing work, family, personal interests, fitness,  and other commitments is difficult, and most commentators now suggest “balance” is probably the wrong […]

Special Problems in Settling Professional Liability Claims

In the context of mediation and settlement, professional liability claims present some challenges that warrant special consideration. Most professional liability policies contain settlement control clauses. Such clauses require the consent of the insured to settle, and if consent is withheld there are potential costs and exposures presented to the insured for failing to accept a […]

Improving the Bottom Line Through Mediation Advocacy

This month’s article is an introduction to a larger seminar to be offered in the fall on the topic of promoting mediation advocacy to attract and retain clients, and to strengthen attorney-client relationships. How so, you ask? Consider this question: How does an institutional purchaser of legal services evaluate different law firms? Recent surveys reveal […]

Revisiting Mediation Provisions Within Federal Court Case Management Scheduling Orders

The extent to which federal courts are expected to follow state law has always been one of my intellectual interests. In federal court, the case management scheduling order will include directives related to mediation. There are differences between state courts and federal case management orders (CMSOs) that warrant discussion. Many CMSOs from the Middle District […]

Giving to the Givers: A Word About Not-for-Profit Charitable Organizations

I want to discuss non-profits in the context of mediation, and also stress the need to donate now to charitable organizations. They were crushed by COVID-19. Not-for-profits frequently gather a significant portion of the operating budget from sponsored events and fundraisers, almost all of which were cancelled during the pandemic. When the economy suffers, consumer […]

Henry’s Ten Dirty Words You Can’t Say During Mediation

As stated in my engagement letter for mediation, I encourage parties to share position statements or letters before mediation begins. These are not intended for me, but more so for the disputants. The premediation letters should be written for the eyes of the “other” client, and can begin to manage expectations, clarify liability, distinguish the […]

Surveys Can Prove Anything, Even the Truth: A Review of Online Mediation

I conducted an informal survey of mediators who belong to the Executive Council of the ADR Section of the Florida Bar asking them two questions. What percentage of mediations are you conducting remotely, and as a percentage of effectiveness how would you rate online mediation vis-à-vis in-person session? The answers were what I anticipated, and […]