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!

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