Rules of Mediation
The primary purpose of these Rules is to assist you in reaching a settlement of the issues you will be mediating. The Rules are necessary to protect the integrity and confidentiality of the mediation process. They will assist you in examining relevant factors necessary for a full discussion of the issues. You will determine a resolution of your conflict, but these Rules are intended to protect the integrity of the process and to ensure full discussion and analysis of relevant issues. Your voluntaries consent to be bound by these Rules is a prerequisite to the mediator agreeing to serve as your mediator.
1. Legal Proceedings. Legal Counsel and Legal Advice the Mediation Process
1.1 THE MEDIATOR IS NOT ACTING AS AN ATTORNEY AND WILL NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, GIVE LEGAL ADVICE TO EITHER PARTY. BOTH PARTIES ARE ADVISED TO SEEK THEIR OWN LEGAL COUNSEL AT ANY TIME DURING THE MEDIATION PROCEEDINGS.
1.2 The mediator may give legal information to both parties as may be necessary for the parties to make informed decisions.
1.3 Each of the parties is encouraged to seek the advice of independent and separate legal counsel at any time during the mediation process with regard to their individual legal rights and responsibilities.
1.4 Each of the parties is requested and advised to seek the advice of independent and separate legal counsel prior to signing any formal separation agreement which contains their agreements reached during mediation.
1.5 THE PARTIES AGREE THAT NO LEGAL ACTION OF ANY KIND WILL BE TAKEN BY EITHER OF THEM DURING THE COURSE OF MEDIATION, EXCEPT WITH THE EXPRESS AGREEMENT OF THE OTHER PARTY AND NOTICE TO THE MEDIATOR. Further, if either or both parties have retained counsel prior to mediation, they shall direct their attorney in writing that no legal action is to be taken on their case while the matter is in mediation.
2. Communications with the mediator
The parties will not communicate or meet with the mediator concerning matters in mediation except in the presence of each other during a mediation session unless the mediator believes, or the parties expressly agree beforehand, that such communication may be helpful and appropriate to reaching settlement.
3. Third Party Involvement
To facilitate the mediation process, the parties shall refrain from discussing the matters in mediation with friends, relatives or others. However, they are encouraged to consult with legal counsel at any time and they may consult with mental health professionals or clergy as they may find helpful. Children or other persons having a direct interest in the mediation may participate in mediation sessions related to their interest with consent of the parties and the mediator.
4. Full Disclosure
4.1 Each party shall fully and completely disclose in good faith to the other party and the mediator all information and writings, such as financial statements, income tax returns, pension and/or profit sharing plans, or any other documentation that is relevant to the issues being mediated.
4.2 The preparation of budgets and financial statements by each party may become an essential part of the mediation process. If either party fails or refuses to prepare those documents adequately, the mediator may suspend or terminate the mediation process.
5. Transfers of Property during Mediation
During the mediation process neither of the parties shall transfer, encumber, conceal, sell or in any other way dispose of any tangible or intangible property except in the usual course of business or for the necessities of life. In addition, large expenditures by either party outside regular monthly expenses shall be disclosed prior to such expenditure.
6. Confidentiality and Protection of the Mediation Process
6.1 Contents of your file, or for that matter, any information about you, will not be disclosed by the mediator or anyone in his employ without the prior consent of both of you or unless compelled by law.
6.2 You contract with each other and with the mediator to keep the mediation discussions confidential and privileged. By signing the Agreement to Mediate, which incorporates these Rules, you agree as follows:
a. Mediation is a procedure for reaching settlement of a dispute that is either in litigation or likely to be in litigation between you.
b. Through the adoption of these rules, you agree that neither of you will call each other or the mediator as a witness in any litigation of any description to testify as to any matter regarding the mediation proceeding; and, in like manner, neither of you will attempt to require the production in any such litigation of any records or documents or any other notes or papers made by the mediator.
c. The foregoing exclusions from evidence and exemptions of the mediator and the parties from giving testimony or being called upon to produce documents shall apply also to the neutral experts and other professionals called upon by either or both parties for the purpose of assisting in the mediation.
d. This mediation may come within the purview of a professional privilege for the mediator established by the Florida Supreme Court, All the provisions of Florida Statutes, Chapters 44.102; 44.106; 44.107 shall apply to any medications conducted provisions of Florida Statutes between the parties by this mediator.
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