Friday, November 19, 2004

Good Move by the Mediator; Not so Good by the Disputing Party!

In Poling v. Palm Coast Abstract and Title Company, Inc., 882 So.2d 483 (Fla. 5th DCA 2004) the trial court entered an order requiring, among other things, that the parties attend mediation ["Mediation is ordered" - emphasis in the original] and setting a trial date. The Polings did not attend mediation, nor the trial for that matter.

The Polings notified the mediator by fax that they would not attend mediation until Palm Coast complied with their outstanding discovery demands. [I know, you've never heard that before!] The Mediator notified the Polings that they must:
  1. Reschedule the mediation before the trial;
  2. Contact the opposing party;
  3. Contact the court.
Good mediator move in fulfilling their ethical obligations to the parties, Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators 10.300, et seq., and to the court, Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators 10.500, et seq.

The Polings did nothing -- a bad move as you will see when you read the opinion!

Perry S. Itkin