Charles N. Castagna Mediation, Inc.

Mediation

Mediation is all about helping people resolve disputes. In Florida mediators are governed by, among other rules and statutes, the Florida Rules for Certified and Court Appointed Mediators, sometimes referred to as Mediator Standards of Conduct. I urge you to take a look at the Standards at the ADR link at www.flcourts.org . You will find, among other things, that mediators are not permitted to give legal advice, nor are they permitted to give a personal or professional opinion as to how the judge in the case will rule on that particular case.

 

So what can a mediator do? An ethical and effective mediator will help guide the parties and their counsel through an in depth consideration of the strengths and weaknesses of their case, including the costs, potential pitfalls, risks and uncertainties that are inherent in any litigation. Mediation in Florida is defined as “. . . a process whereby a neutral and impartial third person acts to encourage and facilitate the resolution of a dispute without prescribing what it should be. It is an informal and non-adversarial process intended to help disputing parties reach a mutually acceptable agreement.” Rule 10.210, Florida Rules for Certified and Court Appointed Mediators.

“The role of the mediator is to reduce obstacles to communication, assist in the identification of issues and exploration of alternatives, and otherwise facilitate voluntary agreements resolving the dispute. The ultimate decision-making authority , however, rests solely with the parties.” Rule 10.220, Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators.

Self-determination is a critical component to mediation in Florida. The parties decide. That is the opportunity that mediation presents to parties in conflict. An ethical and effective mediator will be very involved in the process, engaging the parties and their counsel without taking sides or helping one party over the other, maintaining neutrality and impartiality throughout the process.

Not all disputes get resolved in mediation, but many do, and at a fraction of the financial and emotional cost that often goes hand in hand with litigation. And even in those cases that do not get resolved, more often than not people feel that they have been heard even if not agreed with, and have had an opportunity to learn more about their case and that of the other party.





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1275 Cleveland Street
Clearwater, FL 33755
Phone: 727.446.4221
Fax: 727.448.0028
Bank of America Plaza
101 E. Kennedy Blvd., Ste. 3920
Tampa, FL 33602
Phone: 727-446-4221
Fax: 813-225-1392
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