- New Rules for Florida Mediations
- May 3, 2012 | Author: G. Jeffrey Vernis
- Law Firm: Vernis & Bowling of Palm Beach, P.A. - North Palm Beach Office
On November 3, 2011, the Florida Supreme Court adopted some new, more stringent rules for Florida mediations. Effective January 1, 2012, absent an agreement or waiver of the parties, these new rules apply to all Florida mediations. The new rules require the attendance at mediation by the parties, the party’s attorney, and if insurance is involved, a representative from that party’s insurance carrier with full authority to settle, must also be present.
In addition, the new rules require, that unless there is an agreement between the parties to waive this requirement, each party must file, ten (10) days prior to the date of mediation, a notice identifying the person or persons who will be attending the mediation conference as a party representative or as the insurance carrier representative, and confirming that those persons have the full authority to settle the matter without further consultation with any other person. "Full authority" is defined as the authority to settle in at least the amount of the Plaintiff’s last demand. Again, this only means authority and the rules specifically state that there is no requirement by any party or their representatives to make any offer, or enter into any settlement agreement. They just must present at the mediation with authority to enter into an agreement, but there is no mandate or requirement that any agreement be achieved.
The new rules for mediation, effective January 1, 2012, adds the requirement that each party file a notice identifying the person who will be attending the mediation conference, requires that all parties attend the mediation, including insureds, and if insurance is involved, requires that the representative attending the mediation must have "authority to settle" in at least the amount of the Plaintiff’s last demand, but again, makes no mandate that requires any party to enter into a settlement agreement. These requirements may be waived by agreement of the parties. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in sanctions, including awarding the cost of mediation and attorney’s fees against the party who violated the requirements of this rule.
If you have any questions pertaining to these new rules, please contact me at 561-775-9822 or [email protected]