Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Join us in JAX for CME 6/2!

This Thursday, June 2, 2016, at the Florida Coastal School of Law, 8787 Baypine Road in Jacksonville, I will take part in a legal educational seminar geared for mediators. The course is eligible for up to 8.0 Continuing Mediation Education (CME) hours, including 4.0 Ethics, 2.0 Domestic Violence, 1.0 Diversity and 1.0 General credit. Mediators are required to self-report hours applicable to their areas of certification at the time of their renewal. (For more information on the CME requirement, visit www.flcourts.org.) Additionally, organizers have applied for accreditation for 8.0 General Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits, including 4.0 Ethics Credits. (Seminar credit must be reported to The Florida Bar to satisfy CLE requirements. For more information, contact The Florida Bar at 800-324-8060, ext. 5842, or visit www.floridabar.org.) At 1:00 p.m., colleagues Michelle Jernigan, and Lawrence Kolin of the Orlando office of Upchurch, Watson White & Max Mediation Group, will present “How Do You Deal with This?” The ethics presentation will help fellow mediators anticipate, understand and be prepared to cope with some of the really difficult problems mediators encounter in everyday conferences. This section will also be interactive, dealing with real-life ethical dilemmas and practical quandaries as part of the mediation process. To see the full eight-hour agenda and register, visit www.jaxbar.org/register-event/?events_id=312.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Free Arbitration CLE 6/1/16 - Join us!

Arbitration has been a hot topic this year, whether in the form of coming changes to consumer and class arbitration or developments in cross-border and international agreements. Some practitioners prefer including these clauses in their contracts, while others seemingly avoid including dispute resolution before a neutral or panel of neutrals as an option to avoid court when disagreements arise. Next month, I will be joined by Gary Salzman, Esq. and Beppy Owen, Esq. at the Orange County Bar Association on June 1, 2016 for an Arbitration CLE hosted by its Business Law Committee. We plan to cover the nuts and bolts of the process, as well as hints in avoiding traps while drafting arbitration provisions at the outset. We will also discuss qualifications of the arbitrator and the perception that subject matter expertise is helpful to the dispute resolver selected. This complimentary CLE also addresses recent trends in this venerable form of alternative dispute resolution and will take place from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the OCBA Center, 880 N. Orange Ave. in Orlando. The registration deadline is May 30, 2016. Please RSVP to Marie West at 407-422-4551, ext. 233. See more information here-- http://www.orangecountybar.org/products/seminars and http://www.attorneyatlawmagazine.com/orlando/arbitrator-lawrence-kolin-speak-ocba/

Friday, May 6, 2016

Arbitration Attacked

The right of parties to avoid court and arbitrate contractual disputes comes from the Federal Arbitration Act of 1925. It provides that agreements to arbitrate disputes are enforceable. Decades after becoming a standard form of alternative dispute resolution, arbitration clauses were employed as a method to defeat class action lawsuits. Where parties agreed to arbitrate disputes, claims could still be brought, but on an individual basis in arbitration. New rules being promulgated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or CFPB would allow class-action lawsuits, setting up the latest clash between the banking industry and consumers. The CFPB aims to prohibit financial companies from using mandatory arbitration clauses as a way to block class-action lawsuits, in which a large number of plaintiffs with similar complaints band together. Companies still would be able to require consumers to enter arbitration to resolve individual disputes. Critics maintain this will result in higher litigation costs for banks, which they will offset either by raising the costs of consumer loan products or reducing services. Arbitration clauses have become widespread in recent years, aided by a string of court rulings that have limited the ability of consumers to file lawsuits. The agency’s proposal would be the first significant check on arbitration since recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions that affirmed its widespread use. The landmark Supreme Court case, AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, allowed businesses to enforce class-action waivers in contracts. The new rule is expected to take effect next year after a 90-day public comment period to federalregistercomments@cfpb.gov and drafting of the final rule. See more here-- http://on.wsj.com/24Cl284 and http://nyti.ms/1QSVNF0 and http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/CFPB_Arbitration_Agreements_Notice_of_Proposed_Rulemaking.pdf