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Florida mediator Ricardo Cata

Ricardo Cata Moderates, Chairs Program Discussing Mediation Method for Resolving U.S.-Cuba Disputes

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On Wednesday, April 13, 2016, I chaired and moderated a program at the ABA’s International Section’s Spring Meeting in New York City, presented by the Mediation Committee of the International Section, titled: “The Role of Mediation in Resolving the U.S. Claims Against Cuba.”

The speakers were: attorney Nancy Thevenin, Principal of Thevenin Arbitration & ADR of New York; James Meyer, Partner at Harper Meyer Perez et al of Miami; and Antonio Martinez, of counsel to the Schwartz Malito firm of New York. The program was heavily attended, and there was significant audience participation by way of questions and comments. We had to stop the questions about 7 minutes after the concluding time for the program.

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Mediator/Arbitrator Richard Lord, shareholder with Upchurch Watson White & Max

Harvard Professor Addresses ABA Dispute Resolution Section's Conference

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Friday, at our ABA DR Section Spring Conference in New York City, attendees heard from Francesca Gino of the Harvard Business School. Professor Gino spoke on the science of making better decisions, and her talk highlighted the importance of being aware of how we make decisions and to deal with factors that can derail sound decision making. Brain science is important as we are hard-wired in certain ways, and I direct you to my colleague Michelle Jernigan’s related webinar on brain science to learn more. Also this morning, Texas A&M University School of Law was awarded the ABA Representation in Mediation Competition Championship trophy. Again, as a judge, I saw firsthand how law schools are preparing students to serve as effective advocates in mediation. All teams that made the finals in New York had worked hard to advance out of their regional competitions.

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Mediator/Arbitrator Richard Lord, shareholder with Upchurch Watson White & Max

ABA Dispute Resolution Section Welcomes U.N. Official and Kicks off Spring Conference With Learning

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This morning, attendees of the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution’s 18th Annual Spring Conference in NYC heard from Johnston Barkat, assistant secretary-general of the United Nations. Sharing insights from around the world, he spoke of the importance of many of the keys to dispute resolution. Emotional and cognitive intelligence, safe psychological spaces, diversity of thought, and procedural fairness are not only vital to us all as mediators, but also to the transformation of systems. And later, the first of dozens of concurrent learning systems kicked off our three-day day conference.

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KS Kim Sands Webshot-2-3

Dismissal Without Reserving Enforcement Rights May Limit Parties’ Recourse Under Rule 1.730

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In a case that just keeps coming back, like a nightmare or a bad penny — depending on your perspective — the Fourth District Court recently weighed in on two “settlement” related subjects that happen every day throughout Florida and elsewhere, without a thought for the potential consequences. First, it reminds us what can happen when counsel signs a settlement agreement or release without clearly indicating his or her capacity or intent. Although not the subject of the opinion, Dandar v Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization, No. 2D14-1511, Mar 2, 2016, results from a case in which plaintiff’s counsel became a party to a settlement agreement.

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Arbitrator / Mediator Lawrence H. Kolin

At the Very Least, Appear at Mediation, Court Reminds

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In a recent opinion, the Fifth District Court of Appeal reminds participants and counsel how important it is to at least appear at mediation.

I’ve been a Supreme Court of Florida-Certified Appellate Mediator since 2001, so I took special notice when Florida’s 5th DCA specifically stated that representatives of the parties with full settlement authority were required to attend a mediation in person, unless excused from attendance by the court. The court’s order, referring a matter to appellate mediation, further stated that the failure to appear could result in the imposition of sanctions.

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Mediator/Arbitrator Richard Lord, shareholder with Upchurch Watson White & Max

We Look Back at UWWM's 2015

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January saw the opening of our current West Palm and Miami offices bringing the number of our South Florida conference rooms to 21. I have enjoyed working in our West Palm, Plantation, and Miami offices and look forward to being there more frequently in 2016.

Here is a partial list of what some of my UWWM colleagues have been up to in 2015.

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