Upchurch Watson White & Max Establishes Model Cybersecurity Protocol for Mediation Videoconferences

John Upchurch, UWWM president and CEO

UPDATED: APR 20, 2020 17:32 EDT

ORMOND BEACH, Fla., April 20, 2020  - John Upchurch, CEO and president of Upchurch Watson White & Max Mediation Group, announced Friday that, to assure security and privacy, the group has adopted "a set of principles to govern all videoconference mediations conducted by members of the firm, regardless of the platform in use for a particular case."

Since the coronavirus pandemic began to oblige social distancing in Florida in March, UWWM panel members have conducted more than 200 mediations and arbitrations by videoconference on various platforms, including Zoom, WebEx and GoToMeeting. Nearly 130 are already on the books for the next few months, aside from in-person mediations and arbitrations likely to take place after restrictions are lifted.

Because of UWWM's experience in online dispute resolution, Florida Justice Association leadership asked the group to formulate "a uniform approach" to cybersecurity for these proceedings. A particular concern about virtual mediations was the ability of participants to record the meeting.

Announced last week, UWWM's model protocol, which can be found in its entirety here, calls for security measures such as disabling the recording function for the host and all attendees and reiterating "to all that recording a mediation is illegal and subject to severe sanctions by the court."

Also among the seven tenets of the protocol are measures to ensure a secure Internet connection, to allow only authorized attendees to take part in the proceedings, and to stay up-to-date with all software required by the videoconference platforms the group uses.

About Upchurch Watson White & Max
A nationally leading mediation specialty firm, Upchurch Watson White & Max is known for facilitating reasonable agreements to resolve complex issues. From nine offices in Florida and Alabama, state Supreme Court-certified attorney mediators with wide-ranging specialties serve as court-appointed and privately employed mediators, arbitrators and third-party neutral case managers, implementing innovative methods of alternative dispute resolution across the country. On the web:

Media Contact:
Catherine Klasne
(386) 253-1560

Source: Upchurch Watson White & Max Mediation Group

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