Thursday, November 3, 2022

SDFL Rules Favor Remote Attendance

Next month, new mediation rules take effect in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. After hearing from the bar on format and giving the public an opportunity to comment, the federal court decided in favor of remote attendance. Unless the court orders otherwise, under Local Rule 16.2, Court Annexed Mediation, the parties shall decide whether their mediation conference will be conducted in person or by video-conference and, if the parties cannot agree, the mediation conference shall be held by video-conference. Additionally, unless excused in writing by the court, all parties and required claims professionals (e.g., insurance adjusters) must participate in the mediation conference with full authority to negotiate a settlement which includes connecting and participating by video and audio. Lately, we've seen some parties appear with black screens, muted on Zoom. This change seems to attempt to address that trend and level the playing field, alleviating the need for mediators to compromise their neutrality in acting as policemen for the process. See more here for rules that take effect December 1, 2022--