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Law School Professor/Mediator Feels More at Home

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What a difference seven days can make. During my second week as a law school professor, I felt much more confident in my abilities at the lectern. In no small part, that was because none of my students dropped the course after hearing me speak in week one. As a matter of fact, we added a student – a guest, really – my mom.

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Checking off a Bucket List Item: Teaching Law School Class

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I have always wanted to teach a law school class. So, when the Dean of Academic Affairs at FAMU College of Law called to invite me to teach a course about mediation, I jumped at the opportunity. After 23 years as a practicing lawyer, I am finally checking this item off of my bucket list. I want to do an excellent job. I want this to be one of those courses my students look back on years later and say, “I really learned something from Professor Peters.”

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Florida Mediator Michelle Jernigan

Basic Training 2: Gaining Mediation Insight

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Scheduling can be one of the biggest challenges in getting ready for a mediation, particularly if the case involves numerous attorneys. It is important to place a hold on the mediator’s calendar as soon as possible so that you will preserve the date. When you are ready to schedule the mediation, please consider the date and time of the mediation, the location, the fees and charges, the name of the mediator you are requesting, the location and the amount of time you think you will need for the mediation.

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Florida Mediator Michelle Jernigan

Basic Training: What is Mediation?

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Earlier this year, shareholder Michelle Jernigan took part in a boot camp for paralegals. She offered fundamental advice about hiring a mediator and assisting when a mediation takes place. What is mediation? A professional neutral helps disputing parties to reach agreement through third-party facilitated negotiation. When should parties institute the mediation process? Most Courts in Florida will ultimately order parties in litigation to mediation. Depending on the case, mediation could take place before litigation commences, after discovery is complete, before or after summary judgment motions are filed, or at any other time during the litigation process.

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U.S. Mediator Rodney A. Max

Is a Mediator's Proposal Part of Last-Ditch Effort?

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My Upchurch Watson White & Max colleagues and I recently discussed the concept of a Mediator’s Proposal (MP), which gave me the opportunity to lay out my position on this mediation tool. For me, the polestars for the mediation process generally are mutuality and self determination. From beginning to end, we are facilitating the process to accommodate the positions of the parties with the need to achieve a mutuality through self determination. So too it is with an MP – will both sides accept the concept? And, if so, will both sides accept the amount, range or other concept that makes up the MP?

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Florida Mediator Kimberly Sands

Getting to a Decision-Maker; What's Changed Since Rule 1.720(e), Fla. RCiv. Pro.?

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I don’t think anyone expected Rule 1.720(e), to resolve all issues concerning authority to settle at mediation. The Rule requires the service of a statement executed by counsel or a party identifying the representative attending the mediation on its behalf having full authority to settle without further consultation with respect to all issues presented by the case and with the legal capacity to execute a binding settlement agreement on behalf of the party. [See Rule 1.720(e), Fla. R. Civ. Pro.] The undisputed benefit of the Rule is that it requires some degree of forethought and preparation by the parties and their attorneys prior to mediation. It also eliminates two steps in the process of seeking sanctions

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