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The presentation outlines ten practical ways that new, and not so new, mediators can make
their next mediation more successful. It is based on the real life experiences of two fulltime
civil mediators who are also father and son. The object of this presentation is to give
participants real life examples of things mediators can do to help make the mediation process a
success. The presenters, JC and Jason O’Steen, have developed these tips through the lessons
learned from conducting hundreds of mediations. With each tip, the presenters discuss rules of
mediation, reasoning behind the approach, and potential pitfalls.
Do you remember the training when you became a County Mediator? The workshop will use
the R.O.P.E. method in helping us recall the practices of a County Mediator. This training will be
interactive with group activity.
This workshop will address the meaning and application of Standard V., Standards of
Professional Conduct for Mediators, in an effort to clarify the mediator’s role and responsibility
to parties. Implications and impacts upon the counsel/client relationship will be examined,
along with a discussion of the risk of mediators’ zealous pursuit of relevant information from
This session will include a brief presentation of trends in court administration and the practice
of law that impact the work of mediators. From courts, the pressures may include courts’
adoption and publication of performance measures and case flow time guidelines (as in
Michigan) and other “CourTools” adopted and advocated by the National Center for State
Courts. From litigants, trends will be drawn from works by Julie Macfarlane, Richard Susskind,
and others. Among changes in legal practice frequently reported in articles and blogs are
perceptions of atrophy in lawyers’ negotiation skills, declining understanding of potential trial
outcomes, and increased “gaming” of the mediation process. In an era when approximately
1 percent of cases reach trial, and mediation becomes the focal point for resolution, what
evolving challenges do mediators face, and how can they be addressed? Session participants
will be invited to share their own challenges and to collectively identify possible strategies and
solutions for preserving the integrity of the mediation process.
This interactive workshop will review the Florida Standards of Professional Conduct for
Mediators and MEAC Opinions addressing whether a mediator may mediate a case when
parties waive a mediator conflict. The participants will be invited to consider a framework for
distinguishing when conflicts can and can’t be waived and then apply the proposed framework
to new circumstances not addressed by MEAC.
This highly interactive presentation is designed to identify the natural extension of mediators
into the Organizational Conflict Management consulting field. Mediators are well equipped
to conduct conflict assessments, identify effective organizational intervention points, support
culture change, implement Conflict Management Systems, and provide organizational
consulting. Participants will learn several organizational assessment techniques, consulting
tools and skills, and state-of-practice consulting technology with legal, practical, and theoretical
grounding. The focus will be on assessment, facilitation of change management, and most
importantly, conflict prevention. Participants will form small “consulting groups” and come
away with new tools to assess and propose a CMS.
When a couple determines that the next step in their relationship is separation or divorce,
mindfulness during the transition is a great challenge. “Conscious Uncoupling” is essential
to resolving family matters. Our session will focus on the process options that allow for a
conscious uncoupling, consistent with the best interests for families. Workshop participants
will be provided with techniques to help clients achieve a peaceful dissolution of marriage
from start to finish, using family-centered protocols. We will cover several alternative dispute
resolution methods, the pros and cons of each, and concentrate on actual case examples from
the pre-suit, pro-se mediation model, where the parties often seek to rely upon the mediator
for guidance. We will explore in detail the ethical and practical considerations of each model.
We are licensed attorneys, each with more than 25 years of relevant experience, and together
we have helped thousands of couples consciously navigate divorce.
This seminar will provide insight into the cultural differences between each ethnic/racial/
national community and other classifications of cultures, as well as discuss basic strategies and
tools for effectively addressing cross-cultural differences in mediation.
Florida is home to over 200,000 American Muslims, many of whom wish to conduct all aspects
of their life, divorce and mediation in adherence with Sharia. What is Sharia? What impact can
it have during divorce or mediation? The presentation aims to familiarize mediators with the
Muslim community and give mediators a better understanding of the cultural and religious
practices which may be relevant during the mediation or divorce process.
This presentation is designed to familiarize appellate mediators with a brief overview of the
appellate court’s basic decision-making components (e.g. standards of review, preservation of
error, etc.) and how such components may impact the decision-making process at an appellate
mediation. This workshop will be interactive in nature, with participants sharing their respective
tips and strategies for a successful appellate mediation.
This advanced ethics workshop is designed for mediators who mediate court referred cases
in more than one area of the court system. This workshop will focus on the nuances between
court procedural rules in the areas of party and participant appearance, and authority and
mediated agreements. A review of topical ethical opinions will also be included.
Whether an individual is speaking or not, s/he is always communicating. In this workshop,
we will learn more about interacting with different cultures, to understand the influence of
language and culture on communication, and understanding how the rules apply when the
parties and mediator may not share the same language.
Mediation is an internationally accepted and rapidly growing conflict resolution and peacebuilding
tool which is increasingly used to resolve conflicts by: (1) developing the use of
mediation in the judicial system to strengthen the rule of law; (2) reducing the risk of violence
by the use of mediation to encourage economic growth both internally and internationally; and
(3) avoiding violence and preventing conflict by creating meaningful mediation and dialogue
between disparate community groups holding strongly differing views. This presentation
focuses on reducing internal risks and threats from violence through the use of mediation.
Organizing and structuring the complex issue, multi-party mediation session - from initial
acceptance of the case and defining terms of engagement, to final follow up procedures,
this program explores different ways to make the mediation of complex multi-party cases
manageable and productive. The program will explore methodology for pre-mediation
organizational sessions with counsel and facilitating a mutually acceptable session format,
agenda and schedule, as well as appropriate sequencing of discussion and resolution of claims,
counterclaims, and third party claims.
This is a ADVANCED presentation.
Participants will be engaged in an open and frank discussion regarding the perspectives,
different areas of practice, and challenges faced by a family mediator.
This workshop will give both the novice and the intermediate an opportunity to learn, discuss,
and improve the process of court-ordered non-binding arbitration. Through a mix of lecture
and audience participation, the attendee will gain knowledge of the non-binding arbitration
process, compare it with other ADR processes, discuss the benefits and detriments of the
process to parties, counsel, and the courts, and make suggestions about how to improve the
Is there such a thing as a collaborative type of person? What personal development empowers
mediation professionals to cooperate and communicate effectively in the process? If you
are like us, you appreciate the skills it takes to scaffold the highest levels of cooperation,
communication, agreement, and positive results possible, for people that can no longer
communicate at even base levels. This training will help you personally identify your growing
edge to being even more effective in the process of mediation, and also in cooperating and
communicating at the highest levels in your own life.
The Florida Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (FLAFCC) has created
a Task Force to address cases in which family conflict resurfaces when the parents age, or
evolves from decisions being made on behalf of an aging parent or other loved one. In an
unprecedented effort involving 20 Florida Statewide organizations, the FLAFCC Task Force on
Eldercaring Coordination is collaborating with a national/Canadian effort spearheaded by the
Association for Conflict Resolution Task Force to transform parenting coordination to cases
with concerns about an elder. Participants will have an opportunity to provide input to this
developing field, becoming a resource to the Task Forces in this groundbreaking project. This
project supports interdivisional court collaboration to fill this gap in ADR processes, broadening
the definition of high conflict families in the court.
Are you doing enough to market yourself? Should you be doing more? What are some smart
cost effective things mediators can (should) do to better market themselves and attract more
cases to mediate?
The presenters will provide an overview of the existing divorce offerings and introduce you to
a new model they believe holds tremendous potential to change the way Americans divorce.
Contrary to recent media coverage, Ken and Elinor believe that the family courts are not really
broken. Instead, they see the courtroom as a fundamentally inappropriate forum for couples
with issues to resolve. Mediation allows participants to control the outcome of their cases. The
Private Law Model for Divorce Resolution goes a step further to give people control of their
entire divorce process as well as access to qualified professionals, a clear path to case closure,
and a pre-set budget. If you are a mental health, financial, or legal professional who wants to add
another service to your practice and become a part of the divorce solution, this session is for you.
Ethical issues arise in mediation when we least expect it. Being ethically aware is critical for
the experienced mediator. Using both real cases and hypothetical (but realistic) scenarios, this
program will explore appropriate and inappropriate responses to each situation.
This interactive workshop for Circuit Civil Mediators will cover: (1) how to lay the groundwork
early in your communication with participants to assist them in framing their preparation
for mediation with both strategy and persuasion in mind; (2) how to encourage initial and
subsequent negotiation signals, resolution ranges and making concessions; and (3) methods
designed to sustain negotiation momentum and some gap-closing techniques. Ethical pitfalls
and considerations will be woven through the presentation; party self-determination does not
need to be sacrificed to help people negotiate. Attendees are encouraged in the last segment
of the workshop to query the presenter and audience about negotiation stumbling blocks and
dilemmas they have encountered.
Join facilitators Stanley Zamor and Jeanne Potthoff for an interactive workshop where you
will be presented with real county court mediation scenarios. Participants will discuss the best
practices for “dealing” with these scenarios.
Join us to hear about what we learned at the FL Statewide Mortgage Modification Summit that
was held in February of 2014 in Orlando. The Summit had eleven bankruptcy Judges present,
including the three chief judges from the Northern, Middle and Southern Districts. It was a
lively discussion with attorneys, mediators and lenders participating. Wells Fargo, Bank of
America, Chase, Nationstar, Ocwen and Insight participated and shared their concerns about
mediation, and we want to share them with you!
Recent changes to the Florida Arbitration Code and Federal and State cases decided in the
past year impacted the field of arbitration. The most significant changes and court decisions
will be discussed.
Some mediators find themselves stuck and don’t know how to ask an appropriate question.
Some mediators are afraid of silence. This program gives the mediator tools for asking the right
questions at the right time during mediation, and allows the mediator to fulfill his/her role as
facilitator of the parties’ discussions. By learning how and what to ask -- and understanding that
mediations have three basic stages -- will allow the mediator to avoid the awkward silences and
move the process forward in a substantive way. By asking questions in the right way at the right
time, the mediator is causing the participants to be introspective and to evaluate facts and
circumstances, strengths and weaknesses, in a more realistic way. Presenters Robin Caral Shaw
and Amy Wolsky have brought valuable tips and tools to the DRC since the turn of the century.
The presentation will offer a strategic approach to marketing the mediation practice. The initial
focus will center upon defining the target audience, both present and potential. Messaging
and an effective communications strategy will follow, with emphasis on the need to produce
provocative and interesting content. Staff practices, advertising and special event marketing
will be touched on, leading into a review of best practices in designing and maintaining the
website, and developing a comprehensive digital presence through the current array of social
Three presenters all critical to the collaborative process (one lawyer, one facilitator, and one
neutral financial expert) discuss how this process is used to facilitate communication between
divorcing spouses and to problem solve issues raised in dissolution of marriage and other
matters in such a way as to both protect clients’ relationships with family and friends, while
enabling the two parties to create the foundation for their post-dissolution relationship with
each other. A comparison with the traditional court process will explain why the collaborative
process is usually preferable, both from the individual perspective, as well as from a societal
point of view.
This workshop is designed to explore the meaning of Culture in the context of the Mediation
process, and to recognize that there are many definitions of Culture that affect the thinking
and behavior of participants in a problem-solving setting. Workshop participants can become
aware of cultural dimensions and variations that are at play, and gain a greater understanding
of the ways that parties communicate, based on their values, beliefs and standards. Participants
will also explore their own values, beliefs and standards, and become sensitive to the need to
avoid bias in carrying out their roles as facilitators.
This session will teach mediators: (1) iPhone and iPad apps for mediators in order to run a
more efficient mediation practice; (2) mediation technology to meet your clients’ needs; (3)
understanding the technology which lawyers are trying out in mediation before they try the
case; and (4) how to maintain your mediation documents on an iPad and have participants sign
the deal digitally on your iPad.
Because many mediators are engaged on the basis of their substantive knowledge in, or
familiarity with, a particular field and deal with the same attorneys and factual scenarios, their
mediations may become mechanical. This presentation will explore methods for conveying
interest in the process and the disputants’ well-being and enthusiasm to participants, focus on
the importance of opening statements for providing not only a procedural description but to
address anticipated questions from the ignorant disputant and hostility from the unreasonable
disputant, and ways to better engage the parties in the process through data collection.
For the benefit of mediators, family law attorneys and prospective parent coordinators, this
presentation will shed some light on the role and responsibilities of parent coordinators as they
pertain to working with parents who are struggling to co-parent and follow their parenting plan.
Most parents who are referred to work with a parent coordinator are usually in “high conflict”
and present for PC work after months or years of battling with an ex-spouse or partner. During
this presentation, we will address and problem-solve the common challenges and obstacles
that parent coordinators face in helping parents work through their conflict and learn to
Art Hinshaw’s research and teaching interests lie in the field of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), primarily mediation and negotiation. His research bridges ADR theory and practice, and his teaching responsibilities include the Lodestar Mediation Clinic and Negotiation among other ADR courses.
Professor Hinshaw is active in the ADR community having served on several academic and professional committees at the state and national levels. Currently, he serves as a member of the ABA's Standing Committee on Mediator Ethical Guidance. Additionally, he is a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution at the University of Missouri School of Law and is a contributor to Indisputably, the ADR Prof Blog. Outside of the ADR realm, Professor Hinshaw is a member of the Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct.
Professor Hinshaw joined the College of Law faculty after teaching at the University of Missouri School of Law and at the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. Before his academic career, he practiced law in Kansas City, Missouri.
Skilled mediators shape the process to be most productive for each individual case. This presentation offers mediator skills and techniques which will help you determine if, when and how to use caucus and how to promote and facilitate direct communication and negotiation, ensuring more durable resolutions and party satisfaction.
Harry G. Goodheart III, lives in Tryon, North Carolina, where he divides his time between
conflict resolution projects and his antiquarian bookstore. A Certified Mediator in Florida,
North and South Carolina, Harry has mediated many complex and multi-party cases since
1988, and provides certification and advanced mediator and negotiation courses for the
South Carolina Bar and Charleston School of Law. He has taught for the National Judicial
College and earlier this year led an advanced mediation workshop in Kerikeri, New Zealand.
A Member of the Florida Bar since 1973, Harry practiced law in Bradenton and served as a member
of the Board of Governors of the Florida Bar and the Florida Supreme Court Rules Committee for
Mediation and Arbitration. He is a Diplomate and former President of the American College of Civil
Trial Mediators, and is the 1998 Award of Merit recipient from the Florida Academy of Professional
Mediators, in recognition of outstanding contributions to the mediation profession.
Heather Blanton is the Mediation Services Coordinator for the Twelfth Judicial Circuit as
well as a Florida Supreme Court certified family, dependency and county mediator. Heather
has worked with the circuit’s mediation department for almost 18 years and was a past
volunteer with the Guardian ad Litem Program (1994-1996), Children and Families Supervised
Visitation Program (1996-2002), and the Teen Court Program (1989-2007). She is a current
member of the Florida Supreme Court ADR Rules and Policy Committee and is a member of the Mediator
Qualifications Board. Heather graduated with honors from the University of South Florida in 1994.
Hal F. Wotitzky, Esq. is a full time professional mediator and arbitrator. He was certified by
the Florida Supreme Court as a Circuit Civil and County Mediator in 1994 and as a Family
Mediator in 1995. He founded the Wotitzky Mediation Center in 2004 and co-founded
Mediation Education, LLC in 2010. Mediation Education, LLC is certified by the Florida
Supreme Court as a mediation training provider for the Circuit Civil Mediator Certification
Course and also provides continuing mediator education.
Mr. Wotitzky is a Primary Trainer for the Circuit Civil Mediator Certification Training and is a Florida
Supreme Court Qualified Arbitrator. He currently serves on the Mediator Qualifications Board, is a
charter member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, a member of the Florida Circuit-Civil
Mediator Society and the Florida Bar (1986). As a result of his involvement in a family business for much
of his legal career, Mr. Wotitzky has a special interest in mediating disputes involving the family, including
disputes arising out of the administration of estates, the family business, real property, trusts and probate.
Jeanne Potthoff has worked for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit’s Court Mediation and
Arbitration Program for twenty-four years. During this time, she has served in the capacity of
case manager, juvenile arbitrator, mediator, facilitator and coordinator of various mediation and
arbitration programs. She has been the division director of the programs for over six years.
Ms. Potthoff is a Florida Supreme Court certified family, dependency, county court and circuit
civil mediator and qualified arbitrator. She is a primary county court trainer and an assistant
family and dependency mediation trainer.
Ms. Potthoff is a past president of both the Association of South Florida Mediators and Arbitrators and the
statewide mediation organization, the Florida Academy of Professional Mediators.
Currently, Ms. Potthoff serves on the Mediator Qualifications Board and is looking forward to serving as a
result of her recent appointment to the ADR Rules and Policy Committee.