In an earlier posts we addressed the issue of impartiality and the mediator’s demeanor. The Third District Court of Appeal in Valdes-Fauli v. Valdes-Fauli, 3D04-2079 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2005) points out that:
“While . . . trial judges [substitute mediators] . . . frequently make statements to encourage the parties to settle, it is not our perspective that controls, but rather whether the facts alleged would place a reasonably prudent litigant [substitute “mediant” – I made that word up!] in fear of not receiving a fair and impartial trial [substitute mediation]. [W]hat feeling resides in the petitioner’s [substitute “mediant’s”] mind and the basis for such feeling.
The question . . . focuses on those matters from which a litigant [substitute “mediant”] may reasonably question a judge’s [substitute mediator’s] impartiality rather than the court’s [substitute mediator’s] own perception of its ability to act fairly and impartially.”
We, as mediators, can learn from these creative, yet essential, substitutions!
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