Friday, April 15, 2005

Conflict? – Well, You Be the Judge!

Florida’s Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators, Rule 10.340, Conflicts of Interest, provides [in part]:

(a) Generally. A mediator shall not mediate a matter that presents a clear or undisclosed conflict of interest. A conflict of interest arises when any relationship between the mediator and the mediation participants or the subject matter of the dispute compromises or appears to compromise the mediator’s impartiality.


(c) Effect of Disclosure. After appropriate disclosure, the mediator may serve if all parties agree. However, if a conflict of interest clearly impairs a mediator’s impartiality, the mediator shall withdraw regardless of the express agreement of the parties.

What if a mediator, like the judge in this article from the New York Law Journal, has a “significant social and professional relationship with a party, who also happens to be an attorney, and a disclosure is made with no objection? Should the mediator continue to serve? Maybe it’s a good idea to read the article for more details before answering! Now, what do you think?

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