A mediation statement outlining the parties’ positions should be submitted several days prior to the mediation. If a party submits information that may not be shared with the opposing party, please identify it clearly. Otherwise, I prefer that the parties exchange copies of the mediation statement.

Please advise approximately how many people to expect for this mediation, inclusive of counsel and clients. Also please let me know whether any persons attending mediation have a disability that will require accommodation to participate in the conference, so I may address that need. Feel free to contact me before the mediation to discuss any special features of this matter that might affect the ordinary flow of mediation.

After the initial session, I will forward my billing statement for preparation, travel and the mediation. My standard mediation rate is $395.00 per hour. There is a minimum charge of four hours for each mediation. If the mediation is held outside Jacksonville, I will bill at 1/2 that rate ($197.50 per hour) for travel time. Unless other joint instructions are provided, mediation charges will be billed equally to each party participating in the mediation. Please let me know prior to the mediation if this is not the proper allocation in this case.

Unless an advance deposit is made, the firm confirms mediation assignments with the understanding that both counsel and the client are responsible for the fee. If you or your firm do not agree to be responsible for the fee if your client does not pay, please let me know. Payment of the fees for the mediation is due upon receipt of the billing statement. You will be notified if we have not received payment within fifteen (15) days. If there is any question about the statement, please bring it to my personal attention.

If the mediation is cancelled with less than three full business days’ notice, we will bill a $395.00 cancellation fee per side. We have conducted an initial internal check for any conflict of interest that would compromise the mediator’s impartiality and do not believe that any such conflict exists.  If either party feels we should check for any additional parties (names of material witnesses, related entities, etc), please forward that information as soon as possible.

State and federal court rules generally require that all parties and claims representatives be physically present at the mediation.  If the parties agree to handle the mediation in a different manner, they should obtain court approval.  Please let me know if you have any questions about mediation attendance.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as mediator.  Please call me if you have any questions.

44.405 Confidentiality; privilege; exceptions

  1. Except as provided in this section, all mediation communications shall be confidential. A mediation participant shall not disclose a mediation communication to a person other than another mediation participant or a participant’s counsel. A violation of this section may be remedied as provided by s. 44.406. If the mediation is court ordered, a violation of this section may also subject the mediation participant to sanctions by the court, including, but not limited to, costs, attorney’s fees, and mediator’s fees.
  2. A mediation party has a privilege to refuse to testify and to prevent any other person from testifying in a subsequent proceeding regarding mediation communications.
  3. If, in a mediation involving more than two parties, a party gives written notice to the other parties that the party is terminating its participation in the mediation, the party giving notice shall have a privilege to refuse to testify and to prevent any other person from testifying in a subsequent proceeding regarding only those mediation communications that occurred prior to the delivery of the written notice of termination of mediation to the other parties.
    1. Notwithstanding subsections (1) and (2), there is no confidentiality or privilege attached to a signed written agreement reached during a mediation, unless the parties agree otherwise, or for any mediation communication:
      1. For which the confidentiality or privilege against disclosure has been waived by all parties;
      2. That is willfully used to plan a crime, commit or attempt to commit a crime, conceal ongoing criminal activity, or threaten violence;
      3. That requires a mandatory report pursuant to chapter 39 or chapter 415 solely for the purpose of making the mandatory report to the entity requiring the report;
      4. Offered to report, prove, or disprove professional malpractice occurring during the mediation, solely for the purpose of the professional malpractice proceeding;
      5. Offered for the limited purpose of establishing or refuting legally recognized grounds for voiding or reforming a settlement agreement reached during a mediation; or
      6. Offered to report, prove, or disprove professional misconduct occurring during the mediation, solely for the internal use of the body conducting the investigation of the conduct.
    2. A mediation communication disclosed under any provision of subparagraph (a)3., subparagraph (a)4., subparagraph (a)5., or subparagraph (a)6. remains confidential and is not discoverable or admissible for any other purpose, unless otherwise permitted by this section.
  4. Information that is otherwise admissible or subject to discovery does not become inadmissible or protected from discovery by reason of its disclosure or use in mediation.
  5. A party that discloses or makes a representation about a privileged mediation communication waives that privilege, but only to the extent necessary for the other party to respond to the disclosure or representation.

History.–s. 4, ch. 2004-291.

44.406 Confidentiality; civil remedies

  1. Any mediation participant who knowingly and willfully discloses a mediation communication in violation of s. 44.405 shall, upon application by any party to a court of competent jurisdiction, be subject to remedies, including:
    1. Equitable relief
    2. Compensatory damages.
    3. Attorney’s fees, mediator’s fees, and costs incurred in the mediation proceeding.
    4. Reasonable attorney’s fees and costs incurred in the application for remedies under this section.
  2. Notwithstanding any other law, an application for relief filed under this section may not be commenced later than 2 years after the date on which the party had a reasonable opportunity to discover the breach of confidentiality, but in no case more than 4 years after the date of the breach
  3. A mediation participant shall not be subject to a civil action under this section for lawful compliance with the provisions of s. 119.07.