Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Florida Bar ADR Section Turns 5

The ADR Section of The Florida Bar, now in its fifth year, will meet at the annual convention in Boca Raton tomorrow, to continue advancing new programs and opportunities for continued growth and participation in the section. The ADR Section was established in 2010 to provide a forum for lawyers interested in alternative dispute resolution and to provide a forum for discussion and exchange of ideas leading to an improvement of individual ADR skills and abilities. The ADR Section will keep the Bar membership informed and updated regarding legislation, rules, and policies in connection with mediation and other ADR processes and the responsibilities they impose on mediator and arbitrator members, as well as provide quality continuing legal education programs. During The Florida Bar’s 2014 Annual Convention, the ADR section hosted a working meeting for ADR section members. Those in attendance nominated new executive council members. I was pleased to be nominated, having already founded and chaired the ADR Committee of the Orange County Bar Association in Orlando. New members elected to the ADR executive council included my Upchurch Watson White & Max Mediation Group (UWWM) colleagues, Robert A. Cole and Michelle Jernigan, who edits our section newsletter. Additionally, ADR section committees were established that plan and execute section activities, events, and programs to benefit section members. Among the busiest were: Website, Newsletter, and Legislation. The Website Committee, which I chaired, worked with the executive council and a vendor and launched the new ADR section website, The immediate goal is to make the ADR section and its benefits more accessible to all Florida Bar members, which will provide information on available CLE programs and links to MEAC opinions. In addition, each of the section’s News & Tips can be viewed from the website. The CLE committee plans to host programs with other Florida Bar sections that will not only benefit members of the ADR section, but all members of The Florida Bar. We recently presented a June UWWM webinar on issues relating to "Other ADR" in Florida with incoming ADR Section Chair, Bob Hoyle, who plans to present additional webinars on ADR through the section this year. The ADR Section will also present a seminar on mediation and arbitration today at the 2015 Florida Bar Annual Convention. For additional information on how to join the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section, visit the ADR section website--