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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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UWWM Principal Kimberly Sands

The Power of Principle, Part 2

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Under the circumstances, my ethical and professional obligations are obvious, at least to me; confront the immovable forces with a discussion which assures that the decision-making is informed. This means (1) Trying to get the parties what they want; failing that, (2) Exploring the options available; and (3) Always making sure decisions are informed and consistent with self-determination. For my efforts, I may receive a little bit of “shoot the messenger.” Defense counsel may not agree with my observations in mediation. Fair enough; however, this is sort of the point when the alternative is turning decision-making over to others; you may get a decision you don’t agree with; at least my observations can’t hurt you.

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UWWM Principal Kimberly Sands

The Power of Principle, Part 1

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I recently had the pleasure of moderating UWWM’s webinar, “The Seven Deadly Sins in Business Negotiation” featuring UWWM’s neutral Judi Lane. I was very happy to do so. I had previously mediated for Judi many times and had great respect for her as an attorney and as a negotiator. She also always demanded the most of me as a mediator. When she joined UWWM, she and I continued our exchange of thoughts and experiences with respect to mediation strategy and negotiation. I continue to learn a lot from her and, I hope, she from me. A common subject that always surprises me, although perhaps shouldn’t after so many years, is the extent to which a human element drives many business negotiations.

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Florida mediator John J. Upchurch

How Does Class Action Insurance Work?

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In cases where a defendant is concerned about the financial impact of a settlement, accounting implications, or the risk going forward , we recommend engaging a specialty risk consulting firm to assist in providing a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the settlement risk, and to help structure a settlement underwritten by insurance. Most importantly, this provides a mechanism to achieve a full risk transfer of the liability through the use of a specialty insurance product. Often, a claims-made settlement structure, acceptable to class counsel and the court, is negotiated. The insurance company issues the appropriate policy with limits adequate to fund it at a substantially lower total cost than a common fund.

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UWWM Principal Kimberly Sands

Wrapping up a Hot Summer with a Cool JADC Retreat

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I recently had the pleasure of attending the 2015 annual retreat of the Jacksonville Association of Defense Counsel at the Ritz Carlton on Amelia Island. Not only was the location a treat, but also the program, moderated by Boyd & Jenerette appellate attorney Kansas Gooden, was as good as any I have attended. UWWM was a sponsor of the event. UWWM Shareholder Bob Cole spoke on recent trends in mediation and ADR, including proposed amendments by the Florida Bar ADR Rules and Policy Committee currently under consideration by the Florida Supreme Court.

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