Thursday, November 11, 2004

Coercion at Mediation and Beyond

In Sharick v. Southeastern University of the Health Services, Inc., et al., Case Number 3D03-2949 [Fla. 3rd DCA 11.10.2004], the client maintained that at the court ordered mediation, not only did his own attorney, but also the mediator [a former circuit court judge] attempted to coerce him into accepting a settlement. The attorney, who had been handling this case for over ten years on a contigency fee basis, requested the trial judge to appoint a guardian ad litem [another former circuit court judge] for his client since the offer made at mediation was "beyond reasonable, would be one hundred percent totally impossible to achieve in the imminent retrial on damages, and [that] no reasonable competent individual would have refused." Read what happened after the attorney accepted the settlement proposal and the client maintained the attorney did not have the authority to settle on his behalf.

Perry S. Itkin