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Can a Mediator Advise a Party to Seek Independent Counsel at the Conclusion of a Mediation?

Rule 10.370(b) states that “when a mediator believes a party does not understand or appreciate how an agreement may adversely affect legal rights or obligations,

the mediator shall advise the party of the right to seek independent counsel.”

A mediator may not refer a party to a specific lawyer or not-for-profit advocacy group when contacted by the party after a mediation.

Such a referral would be inconsistent with the mediator’s duty to maintain impartiality throughout the mediation process.

There is no rule which prohibits a mediator from speaking to a party after a mediation;

however, the mediator must continue to provide information in a manner “consistent with standards of impartiality.”

The mediator’s continuing duty to remain impartial is confirmed by rule I0.620, Integrity and Impartiality, Florida Rules for Court Appointed Mediators

A mediator shall not accept any engagement, provide any service, or perform any act that would compromise the mediator’s integrity or impartiality.”

 Opinion Date Issued: September 8, 2017

 Number: 2017-001 MEAC, Florida Supreme Court

For any of your mediation questions, feel free to Contact me.

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