Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Sometimes Gift Giving Is Not a Good Idea!

Florida’s Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators, Rule 10.330(c), Gifts and Solicitation, provides, in part, that

A mediator shall neither give nor accept a gift, favor, loan, or other item of value in any mediation process.

What are the consequences of a mediator giving gifts of lunches, gift baskets and cash? [That’s right – cash. I know, you’re wondering what mediator in their right mind would give cash!] According to this article from Newsday, the chief of the New Jersey state panel that hears labor disputes has been demoted, following an ethics probe that found his employees accepted gifts and cash from individuals and law firms seeking work as mediators.

By the way, there are two Mediator Ethics Advisory Committee opinions on the topic of mediator gift giving, 2001-006 and 99-005. They are worth reading!

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