Mediation is a process whereby a neutral and impartial third person acts to encourage and facilitate the resolution of a dispute without dictating what any settlement should be. It is an informal and non-adversarial process intended to help disputing parties reach a mutually acceptable agreement.
The role of the mediator is to reduce obstacles to communication, assist in the identification of issues, explore alternatives, and otherwise facilitate voluntary agreements that resolve a dispute. The ultimate decision-making authority in mediation always rests solely with the parties. In Florida, virtually all civil disputes are subject to mediation through the court system. Participating in mediation is required by courts prior to the time that a trial takes place. Many cases settle during mediation and therefore do not have to proceed to trial.
Mediation is Informal
Mediation is an informal process where you will meet with an independent Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediator and with a representative of the adverse party to see if you can work out an agreement to avoid a lawsuit. Pre-Suit Mediation simply means that the mediation process occurs before a lawsuit is filed. At the mediation both sides have a chance to talk to each other openly and informally to see if an agreement can be reached to avoid the filing of a lawsuit.
If you and the adverse party can come to an agreement a Settlement Agreement will be written up at the mediation and is signed by all parties. Typically, settlement proceeds are paid within 20 days thereafter.
The mediator’s job is to remain neutral and to not take sides. With some limited exceptions, what the parties say at mediation is confidential and cannot be used against them if a lawsuit later becomes necessary. It is possible that the adverse party will be represented at the mediation by its attorney. They may also elect to participate in Pre-Suit Mediation without the presence of an attorney. You have that same option. You may participate in this Pre-Suit Mediation program with or without an attorney. That choice is solely yours to make.
To participate in this Pre-Suit Mediation program, you are required to provide certain information in the manner of medical records, lost wages, and insurance information. In addition, you may be required to participate in a confidential sworn statement that may only be used for mediation purposes.
If you proceed with Pre-Suit Mediation, your case will be handled by a specially trained Florida Supreme Court Circuit Civil Mediator at no cost to you, and all options to resolve your case and avoid a lawsuit will be considered. You can also rest assured that none of your rights will ever be compromised through this Pre-Suit Mediation program. Anything that occurs at the mediation, as well as the information that is exchanged in connection with the mediation process, is confidential under Florida law.
If you have any questions or require any information, we encourage you to contact Central Florida Mediation Group, LLC, at 863-594-1113 and we will be happy to assist you.