Mediation FAQ

Mediation FAQ2022-03-31T21:30:49+00:00
Where can I get more information about mediation?2021-12-10T16:13:54+00:00

More information is available on this website.  If you choose to get more information about mediation from the internet, please be advised that other states have different rules and only the Florida rules apply to mediation when you are mediating in Florida courts.

Do I have an attorney at mediation?2021-12-10T16:13:34+00:00

You do not have to have an attorney at mediation. However, it may be helpful to consult an attorney prior to going to mediation or to have an attorney with you.

My friend/relative is a mediator; may he/she mediate my case?2021-12-10T16:14:46+00:00

Whether someone may mediate for you depends on the connection that person has to either the case or the people involved in the mediation.  Because a mediator must be both neutral and impartial, the mediator should not have any close connection to anyone in the dispute or anyone participating in the mediation.  If the mediator does have such a close personal or business connection, (examples: parent, employee, landlord) the mediator may not mediate that dispute.  If the connection is not close, then the mediator must disclose the connection. If you recognize any connection or relationship to the mediator, you must disclose the connection as soon as you are aware of the connection.  Once the connection is disclosed, if all parties agree, the mediator may serve.

May I bring a friend or relative with me to mediation?2021-12-10T16:16:03+00:00

Non-parties (examples are:  friends, relatives, advisers.) may attend the mediation ONLY if all parties agree.  If all parties do not agree, non-parties may not attend the mediation.  Therefore, it is best to ask the mediator about bringing someone with you before you go to the mediation.  Anyone who attends a mediation is bound by confidentiality.  See “What are some advantages to mediation?

May I talk to other people about what was said in the mediation?2021-12-10T16:16:47+00:00

Generally, the rule is that people who attend a mediation may only discuss what is said in a mediation with others who attend the mediation or their attorney

What if we reach agreement at mediation?2021-12-10T16:17:33+00:00

At mediation you can resolve all of your issues, some of your issues, or none of your issues.  If a full or partial agreement is reached, all resolved issues must be written down and all parties in the dispute and their attorneys (if appearing at the mediation) must sign. If, there is only a partial agreement that means there are still issues to be resolved by the court.  Those issues will be addressed in a trial unless they are settled after the mediation but before the trial begins.

What if we can’t agree on anything at mediation?2021-12-10T16:18:09+00:00

If you do not reach an agreement at your court-ordered mediation, the mediator must report to the court the fact that no agreement was reached. The confidentiality rules still apply. Even if you do not reach an agreement during the mediation, you may continue to try to settle your case after mediation.  If you settle your case after mediation but before trial, contact the court to ask what procedures you need to follow.

The other party has selected the mediator – do I have to agree?2021-12-10T16:19:18+00:00

The parties should work together to select a mediator.  If you cannot agree on the selection of a mediator, the judge will select a Florida Supreme Court certified mediator for you.  If you object to the mediator requested by the other party or appointed by the court, there are procedures to deal with your objection.  If the parties cannot agree, the court will make the final decision.

Please note: in some cases, you are not able to select your mediator.  For example, if you are using a court program, such as in small claims and family court, the mediator may be selected for you by the court or the court program.

How much does it cost to go to mediation?2022-03-21T14:09:20+00:00

The cost of mediation depends on many factors.  In some cases (example: small claims) the court may provide a mediator at no cost.  In family cases, the amount charged depends on whether mediation is provided through a court mediation program; or the parties are selecting their own private mediator.  If the court program provides the mediator, the amount charged typically depends on the parties’ combined or joint income. [See section 44.108(2), Florida Statutes].  Court program mediation may be unavailable to parties whose joint income exceeds a defined threshold. Many circuits provide dependency mediation services at no charge to the parents.  Check with the mediation program in your circuit to see if such services are available. Parties who select private mediators should expect to pay market rates.  The ethical standards for mediators require that the mediator provide a written explanation of any fees and costs prior to the mediation. The mediator may have minimum fees and charge for travel time, postponements, cancellations, or other expenses.  (See rule 10.380, Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed mediators). If the parties do not select or cannot agree upon a mediator, and a case is pending, the court will select a mediator and may also set the fees the mediator may charge. Many circuits mandate mediation prior to seeking relief form the Court.

Fees for mediation services provided by Carmen R. Gillett:

Session fee: sliding scale $250 per hour (split between the parties unless other agreement)
Payment of fees due on the day of mediation.
Preparation of the settlement agreement is part of the mediation, charged within hourly rates.

Court ordered mediation with a private mediator is typically split equally between the parties unless some other arrangement is mutually agreed upon.

How long does a mediation last?2021-12-10T16:22:19+00:00

The length of a mediation will depend on many factors.  Mediation may range from a half hour to a day or several days, depending on the complexity of the case or number of parties in the dispute.

How do I select a mediator?2021-12-10T16:23:04+00:00

In cases where the mediator is not appointed by the judge, when choosing a mediator, you may wish to consider any number of factors, including the mediator’s background, training, and experience with mediation or with your type of case.  You may also wish to consider the fees the mediator proposes to charge. See also Question 9. above.

The Mediator Database of all mediators certified by the Florida Supreme Court can be found on this webpage. Click here to go to the database. This may help you find a mediator in your area; however, it is not the only way to find a mediator. If you have a lawyer, the lawyer may know many mediators; you can also ask friends or trusted colleagues; or you can visit the websites of statewide organizations.

How do I file a grievance against a mediator?2021-12-10T16:23:42+00:00

If you believe that a mediator has violated the ethical standards for mediators, you may file a grievance with the Dispute Resolution Center.