You know the saying, “If it looks, walks and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck” [or something like that]. But what if it’s not? To put it another way, when is “mediation” actually “arbitration”? It seems the answer is that it’s the process not the label that controls, as it was in the Second District Court of Appeal franchise dispute case, Maschino v. Val-Pak Direct Marketing Systems, Inc., 2005 Fla. App. LEXIS 4700 [Fla. 2nd DCA 2005]. Although the dispute resolution process required the parties to ‘mediate’ a dispute, it [“quack, quack, quack”] really was arbitration!
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