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The Mediation Process in Florida

The Mediation Process is Defined by the Florida Legislature

Mediation is defined by Florida Statute 44.1011: ‘“Mediation’ means a process whereby a neutral third person called a mediator acts to encourage and facilitate the resolution of a dispute between two or more parties. It is an informal and nonadversarial process with the objective of helping the disputing parties reach a mutually acceptable and voluntary agreement. In mediation, decision making authority rests with the parties. The role of the mediator includes, but is not limited to, assisting the parties in identifying issues, fostering joint problem solving, and exploring settlement alternatives.”

Florida has one of the most comprehensive court connected mediation programs in the country. In 1988 Florida implemented "The Mediation Alternatives to Judicial Action". It has revised the Statute several times since then "..and procedural rules, certification qualifications, ethical standards, grievance procedures, training standards, and continuing education requirements for mediators have been implemented."

What is a Mediator

"A mediator helps you talk with the party with whom you are having a dispute. The mediator does not make decisions for you. The mediator is a neutral and impartial guide to help you come up with possible solutions, stay on track, and clarify areas of agreement and disagreement. The mediator may help you and the other party see the conflict from each other side’s point of view.

Many kinds of people can be mediators: mental health or business professionals; attorneys; educators; and others. To become certified by the Florida Supreme Court, a mediator must meet many requirements. There are ethical standards for mediators adopted by the Florida Supreme Court. See the Standards of Professional Conduct in Part II of the Florida Rules for Certified & Court-Appointed Mediators.

A mediator is not there to provide therapy, counseling, business or legal advice. While mediation is a good place to recognize the emotions that may be driving the dispute, the mediator is there as a neutral to help you focus on resolving your dispute." (Copied from flcourts.org).