Wednesday, September 28, 2005

“Respectfully, you can’t do that, Judge.”

In Johnson v. Bezner, 2005 Fla. App. LEXIS 14746 [Fla. 4th DCA 2005] the Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed the trial judge, not because the judge enforced the mediated settlement agreement and not because the trial judge found that appellants had breached the agreement, but because the trial judge fashioned a remedy for the breach and imposed terms that were not included in the agreement. No wiggle room in this circuit civil case!

To email me, click Perry S. Itkin.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Upcoming ABA ADR Program

On October 21, 2005 at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, the ABA Section of Intellectual Property and The Forum on Entertainment and Sports Industries are co-sponsoring an ADR program Hot Topics in Entertainment and Intellectual Property Law for the Lawyer and the ADR Neutral. You can obtain more details here.

To email me, click Perry S. Itkin.

Monday, September 26, 2005

FEMA to Hire Mediators for Temporary Disaster Deployment

FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) has posted announcements for highly qualified “Conflict Resolution Specialists” and “Alternative Dispute Resolution Attorneys” to join a special ADR team to assist in disaster response and recovery. A total of 25 positions will be filled. This has been put on the fast track. Closing date for these positions is Monday, October 10th, 2005. Training will take place in late October or November. Deployment of some team members will take place soon thereafter. Compensation, travel and per diem are included for all training and deployment assignments.

Questions and resumes should be submitted ONLY to the email in the job opportunity announcements. If you are very experienced and qualified in mediation and conflict resolution, please submit your resume as soon as possible.

For Conflict Resolution Specialists (non-attorneys) click here.

For ADR Attorneys click here.

To email me, click Perry S. Itkin.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Mediators as “Change Agents”

Faced with the need to change their perception of their conflict [and only if they want to], disputing parties look to the mediator as their “Change Agent”. Mediation has as its focus a future orientation [but you knew that!]. So among our challenges is to assist the parties in focusing on the problem and then move forward. Here’s an interesting article from the September, 2005 issue of Link and Learn about how anesthesiologists looked at themselves and altered the course of their profession – by defining the change. Do you see any parallels to mediation skills and techniques?

To email me, click Perry S. Itkin.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

“I’m Certified; Now What?!?”

You’ve completed the certification training program [good!]; you’ve completed the mentorship requirements [better!]; you’ve submitted your application for certification, it was approved and you’ve become a Florida Supreme Court Certified [county/circuit civil/family/dependency – take your pick] mediator [best? – well, not just yet!]. You have new business cards and letterhead stationery [maybe even a website] – that’s nice. How do you ‘break into the field’ [that would be the best, right?!?] when there are already experienced mediators out there? You are not alone according to this article in London’s Legal Week.

To email me, click Perry S. Itkin.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Behind Closed Doors

Here’s an article from the Orlando Sentinel which contains interesting information into a party’s perception of the mediation conference and a collaborative outcome in a sad case involving the death of two sisters walking across the street killed by a driver who ran a red light. A criminal case arising out of the same facts is still pending. What impact, if any, do you think the mediated civil settlement will have on the criminal matter?

To email me, click Perry S. Itkin.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Happy Anniversary!

Well, not to an individual but rather to the NASD which is celebrating the 10th Anniversary of its Mediation Program according to this press release. In the past 10 years, NASD has processed over 12,500 cases covering a wide variety of securities disputes. Keep up the good work!

To email me, click Perry S. Itkin.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


As you know there are different styles of mediating, i.e. facilitative, evaluative, transformative, etc. Have you heard about “Surprise Mediation”? Ok, it’s not exactly a mediation style. According to this article in The Arizona Republic – ‘Surprise offers mediation as an alternative to court’. The city of Surprise, Arizona has a community mediation program which offers free mediation services to city residents and local businesses – hence, “Surprise Mediation” [you figured that out by now, right?].

I start a 40 hour Family Mediation Certification Training program tomorrow and will post again next week. Please have a safe and enjoyable weekend.

To email me, click Perry S. Itkin.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Sponsor of Mediation Confidentiality and Privilege Act Runs for Florida Attorney General

Florida State Senator Walter “Skip” Campbell has announced his campaign for Attorney General according to this article in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Senator Campbell was the sponsor of the 2004 Senate Bill 1970 which, among other mediation items, included the groundbreaking Mediation Confidentiality and Privilege Act, F.S. 44.401-44.406. Good luck, Senator Campbell!

To email me, click Perry S. Itkin.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

It’s Perfectly Clear!

In Developers of Northlake, Inc., and Twin Cities Investors, Inc. v. Northlake Equities, Inc., 2005 Fla. App. LEXIS 14105 [Fla. 4th DCA 2005] the Fourth District Court of Appeal decided that what the parties argued was unambiguous [citing, of course, their opposite views of the world] was indeed unambiguous and that the trial judge’s order enforcing a mediation agreement was in error even though one articulated position lead to an absurd result; that’s what the arbitrator ordered [yes, arbitrator] and that the parties agreed to be bound by the arbitrator’s decision. What’s unfortunate here is an apparent lost opportunity in mediation to explore the parties’ divergent views of the meaning of the arbitrator’s words in his award.

To email me, click Perry S. Itkin.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Excellent Florida ADR Reference Materials On-line!

Really – it’s true! The Florida Dispute Resolution Center has put its 2005 ADR Resource Handbook online as well as its 2005 Compendium. The ADR Resource Handbook contains FL ADR Statutes, FL Procedural Rules: Mediation & Arbitration, FL Rules for Certified & Court Appointed Mediators, FL Rules for Court Appointed Arbitrators, Mediation Training Programs Standards & Procedures, and the current Mediator Certification Administrative Order. The 2005 Compendium contains statistics and descriptions of court-connected ADR programs, contact information for court ADR programs, and Supreme Court ADR committees and boards.

An order form to purchase hard copies of these volumes can be found here.

To email me, click Perry S. Itkin.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Mediating with the Police

Here are two articles which provide interesting applications for mediation in the law enforcement venue. One program involves mediating citizen complaints against police officers as reported in this article in The Seattle Post-Intelligencer Reporter. Another use of mediation is in disciplinary matters involving police officers as reported in this article in The Daytona Beach News-Journal: East Volusia. Good ideas, don’t you think?!?

Speaking of law enforcement, please enjoy a safe, peaceful Labor Day Weekend!

To email me, click Perry S. Itkin.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Sue the Mediator – Face Immunity!

Although you don’t hear much about mediators as defendants in litigation [thankfully], it does happen from time to time as was the situation in Secress v. Ullman, 2005 U.S. App. LEXIS 16490 [9th Cir. 2005]. Even though this was a California case, it’s certainly a “heads up” for mediators everywhere. The Court relied on quasi-judicial immunity as part of the basis for dismissing the case against the mediator, who, by the way, was not the only defendant.

Florida has a statute providing for immunity for mediators serving both in court ordered and noncourt-ordered mediations, F.S. 44.107. This provides a statutory defense – it doesn’t prevent a lawsuit from being filed. Be careful out there!

To email me, click Perry S. Itkin.