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Jean Dwyer

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Jean M. Dwyer

 

What is mediation?

Mediation is an alternate conflict resolution technique to assist parties in resolving a dispute.

The mediator will assist the parties in discussions to facilitate the negotation process focusing on reaching a mutually acceptable resolution.

Mediation can be utilized in all types of disputes ranging from tort litigation, family law matters, to complex civil litigation.

Mediation is confidential.  Settlement negotiations may not be disclosed to the court.  

 

What is the role of the mediator?

The mediator is a neutral third party that works with parties to resolve their disputes.  

The mediator does not got to court or testify at court hearings.  

The mediator may file a dispostion report with the court notifying the court if the mediation was settled, adjourned or not settled (also referred to as an impasse).  

Pursuant to Florida Rules for Certiified and Court-Appointed Mediators, Rules 10.360, the mediator shall maintain confidentiality of information obtained during mediation except whwere disclosure is required or permitted by law or agreed to by all parties.  

The mediator will not provide legal advice.  The mediator will not direct parties to sign a settlement agreement; entering into a settlement is soley at the discretion of the parties.  

 

How is mediation conducte

d?

In family law matters the parties are typically in separate rooms, commonly referred to as a caucus, and the mediator will spend time in each room to assist the parties in formulating proposals for settlement to reach a mutually acceptable resolution.  

If a party has an attorney, the attorney will be present with the party in their respective room.  

In civil matters the mediation usually begins in a joint session.  Each party is permitted to give an opening statement.  An attempt to resolve the dispute may begin with both parties in the same room and continue that way if progress is being made, however a caucus may be requested by either party to speak alone with the mediator or their respective counsel. The mediator will thereafter decide whether to continue the mediation in joint session or in caucus.

If a resolution is reached an agreement will typically be drafted at the mediation and signed by all parties.

What should I bring to mediation?

It is a good idea to bring to mediation documentation regarding the claims made in your case, whether a family or civil mediation, to facilitate the mediation process, even if provided to the opposing side prior to mediation.  For example,  i

n foreclosure mediations financial records, applications for loan modifications, etc., may be brought to mediation.  In family law mediations documentation regarding financial relief requested may be brought to mediation, as well as any other supporting documentation regarding any relief requested.  If you are unrepresented in a family law mediation,  required financial disclosure and other Family Law Forms may be found at

 

www.flcourts.org under the Self-Help section on Florida Courts website.

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