Tuesday, January 04, 2005

A Mediator’s Demeanor – Is It Important?

Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators, Rule 10.350 provides that “A mediator shall be patient, dignified, and courteous during the mediation process.” This implies that we must always be mindful not only of what we say, but also how we say it. In this Third District Court of Appeal case, Valdes-Fauli v. Valdes-Fauli, 2004 Fla. App. LEXIS 19651 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2004) the trial judge was criticized [and defended in the dissenting opinion] for the content and intent of his communications. For example, the judge said to the Wife, “So do you think you're going to end up being an alimony drone?” Mediators can learn a valuable “demeanor” lesson by reading this opinion. After reading it, what are your thoughts about impartiality which Rule 10.330(a) Generally, addresses:
A mediator shall maintain impartiality throughout the mediation process. Impartiality means freedom from favoritism or bias in word, action, or appearance, and includes a commitment to assist all parties, as opposed to any one individual.

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