Sunday, November 9, 2014

Florida Appellate Mediation Procedures Amended

Changes I proposed to the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure (FRAP) were adopted by the Supreme Court of Florida last week to conform with amendments previously passed and adopted in Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.720, governing Mediation Procedures. Pursuant to Rule of Judicial Administration 2.140, an oral argument took place last summer and my rule amendment will be effective January 1, 2015. The new language in Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.720 is designed to mirror what has been in effect for mediation of trial court level cases since 2011. Mediated settlement conferences pursuant to this rule are meant to be conducted when the participants actually engaged in the settlement negotiations have full authority to settle the case without further consultation. The proposed amendments bring the same requirements to appellate mediation. I became certified as an appellate mediator in 2011, having been grandfathered in for mediating Florida appellate cases since 2001, before there was even a statewide certification. I was trained then by a federal mediator from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit for the Fifth District Court of Appeal's pilot program. Mediation works in about a third of cases on appeal. There are real results that can benefit parties who have already tried their dispute. See full opinion resulting from FRAP rules committee regular-cycle report here--