Saturday, June 23, 2012

Florida Bar ADR Section Update

Yesterday, I attended the Executive Council meeting of The Florida Bar's ADR Section, first formed in 2010. As outgoing chair of the Orange County Bar Association's ADR Committee, which I petitioned for and founded last summer, I reported on the progress of our local bar group and the programs put on in the inaugural year. Much like the OCBA committee, the big bar's section provides a forum for lawyers interested in alternative dispute resolution and to share common interests, ideas and concepts. The section also provides a source for advocacy involving all forms of alternative dispute resolution and makes formal recommendations to the Supreme Court of Florida Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules and Policy. Any member in good standing with The Florida Bar interested in the purpose of the section is eligible for membership. Among the proposals for the next bar year, the ADR section plans to amend its by-laws to include inactive members of the Florida Bar who need not be Certified Mediators. A discussion was had about the various newly created residential foreclosure programs in circuits around the state since the disbanding of the state's uniform program. Also discussed, were efforts to bring about a change in CME reporting to the Dispute Resolution Center which would push reporting from two to every three years and in sync with one's Florida Bar reporting date for CLE. Another proposal seeks to make DV credits only part of requirements for Family Law Certified Mediators. The section is exploring hosting its own website, social media pages and a possible listserv. The section will also seek to implement guidelines for amicus involvement in rules cases. A survey will be sent to the over eight hundred members of the new section, asking for feedback. Finally, the section voted to donate $1,000 to The Florida Bar Foundation as a gesture of support for the organization which recently suffered a loss in funding and remains a crucial part of pro bono efforts throughout the state. More information here- and