Often criminal defendants raise the issue of ineffective assistance of counsel in their request for post-conviction relief as shown in the Third District Court of Appeal opinion, Carter v. State, 2006 Fla. App. LEXIS 389 [Fla. 3rd DCA 2006]. Mediators can avoid the claim of “ineffective assistance of mediator” [I made that up!] when parties attempt to set aside a mediation agreement by adhering to the lesson to be learned from reading this opinion. For example, think about the types of questions you might ask the disputing parties before they sign the agreement, i.e. have you read each and every word of the agreement, have you discussed it with your attorney, do you fully understood its provisions and what you have to do to comply with the agreement. A pretty good idea, don’t you think?!? What other types of questions might you think of to ask? Let me know, ok?!?
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