Don Weidner, a Tallahassee-based neutral who joined the Upchurch Watson White & Max panel in 2016, recently was interviewed for a question-and-answer column in The Neutral, a newsletter published online by the Florida Dispute Resolution Center.
Don was dean of the Florida State University College of Law for almost 25 years and still serves as dean emeritus, though he's also a full-time mediator/arbitrator. He told the interviewer, Susan C. Marvin, Chief of Alternative Dispute Resolution for the DRC, that he had gained valuable experience in managing conflict and resolving disputes during his academic and administrative career. "I decided to develop those skills and study to become certified as a mediator and qualified as an arbitrator," he said.
He also shared memories of how and why he started teaching a course on ADR and some of his impressions from the class itself. His students surprised and pleased him with their role-playing creativity as mediators. Two of the most outstanding student papers he read focused on how hard bargaining in mediation can cross legal lines and on "the impact of the #MeToo era on the enforcement of mandatory arbitration clauses in
Don listed business breakups, property damage, intellectual property, hospitals, medical malpractice and robocalls as the general topics of some of his arbitrations and mediations.
Although Don does not mediate family or divorce matters, he still believes: "To some extent, mediation is at bottom how to improve behavior toward other people." He expressed a wish that the wide range of techniques to prevent conflict and resolve disputes could be taught more widely in the world and help people "to be better individuals to their family, friends, partners, co-workers and other members of the community."
For more of Don's insights, read the full article here. For more information or to schedule a mediation or arbitration with Don, please contact his case manager, Rose Mercado, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 863-1462.