Monday, January 28, 2013

Siegel to Arbitrate over portrayal in 'Queen' documentary

The U.S. District Court in Orlando stayed David Siegel's defamation claim against filmmakers who created "The Queen of Versailles" movie, sending him to arbitration in California. The film documents the Siegel's quest to build the largest home in America while depicting troubles faced by his Westgate time-share business during the recession. Siegel argues the movie makes it appear the business has failed which he says hurt its reputation. Westgate's attorneys claimed proper permissions were not obtained. Apparently, the signature on the releases signed by the mogul's son as his agent binds Westgate to arbitration. The judge, ruling on the basis of a prior evidentiary hearing, rejected each Siegel's testimony as inconsistent, incredible and lacking weight. If it heads to arbitration, the case will likely be presented at the Independent Film and Television Alliance. See articles and and the ruling here--

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Court requires Citi and UBS to arbitrate auction rate securties case

Brokerages UBS AG and Citigroup must arbitrate a healthcare organization's $234 million auction rate securities claim in a dispute over who a "customer" is for purposes of securities arbitration, according to the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. The claimant, Carilion, a network of hospitals in Virginia, was not found a "customer" of either firm under the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority's (FINRA) securities arbitration rules. The court ruled Carilon bought "commodities or services" from a FINRA member that were regulated by industry rules. Carilion's decision to issue auction rate securities was based on advice from UBS and Citi, who were involved in purchasing and reselling them to investors. The Wall Street firms are being blamed for losses when the auction rate securities market failed. The brokerages argued Carilion was not their customer because claims did not "relate to a brokerage account or investment relationship" at either firm. Auction rate securities were highly liquid short-term instruments similar money markets, though with higher returns. The economic crisis prompted Carilion to file for arbitration. The appeals court ruled that though the parties agreed in their contracts with one another to litigate disputes in a New York federal court, this did not did not displace UBS and Citi's arbitration obligation of the claim filed with FINRA. See story at -

Thursday, January 17, 2013

DRC implements new CME reporting / renewal process

Beginning this month, in compliance with the Supreme Court of Florida's efforts to reduce paper and the Dispute Resolution Center's (DRC) initiative to provide efficiencies to increase productivity and reduce processing times for applications and renewals, DRC will no longer be mailing out renewal applications. Mediators who are due for renewal will receive an email notification three (3) months prior to renewal that it is time to renew along with a link to complete a generic downloadable renewal form. The forms will then need to be completed, notarized and mailed to the DRC with appropriate renewal fees and the CME Reporting Form. Any changes in information (address, email, phones, etc.) should be indicated at this time as well. See complete details at - For additional information contact DRC at 850-921-2910 or at

Saturday, January 12, 2013

What's in a name?

United Nations Mediator Matthew Nimitz is in the Macedonian capital of Skopje to help resolve a longstanding name problem between Macedonia and Greece. Nimitz met with officials and indicated Greece is willing to solve the ongoing dispute with Macedonia. Some 130 countries already recognize Macedonia, but Greece refuses acknowledging that name since it has a region called "Macedonia" within the country. Greece wants Macedonia to change its name. The name has been in debate since the country declared independence in 1991. Macedonia could become an UN member with the name "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia". Macedonia's NATO membership could not be realized due to Athens's veto. The international mediator has reportedly for the first time spotted willingness on both sides to find a solution and a chance to terminate the 20-year name dispute. Greece still insists on introducing a geographical attribute in Macedonia’s name, while Skopje wants a double use of the name – the new name only in its relations with Athens and Republic of Macedonia in its ties with the rest of the world. See and

Friday, January 4, 2013

New Year, New NHL Mediation

The National Hockey League (NHL) and its player's union (NHLPA) caucused separately with a federal mediator this week with looming deadline to reach a deal and possibly salvage a shortened season approaching next week. The two sides met with Deputy Director Scot Beckenbaugh of the Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service (FMCS) in New York, but there's no still no decision on whether the league and union would hold face-to-face negotiations. With half of the 2012-13 regular season already lost to the labor dispute, the NHL has set next Friday as the deal deadline, so that a shortened 48-game season could be feasible. The lockout, which costs almost $20 million a day, began last fall when the previous collective bargaining agreement expired with both sides disagreeing over how to split over $3 billion in revenue. The current dispute, echoing a lockout that erased the entire 2004-05 season, is now focused on the salary cap for the 2013-14 season, the pension fund and length of player contracts. See and