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Alternative Dispute Resolution

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) has been utilized by the Florida Court System to resolve disputes for over 30 years, starting with the creation of the first citizen dispute settlement (CDS) center in Dade County in 1975. ADR processes offer litigants court-connected opportunities to resolve their disputes without judicial intervention.

News from the Field

CME Documentation Study Ends 

Dear Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediators,

The Supreme Court Committee on ADR Rules and Policy has rescinded the requirement that the reporting of all CME activities be accompanied by backup documentation for the hours claimed beginning with renewal applications due on February 1, 2017.  The DRC is returning to the practice of random audits in which a select group of renewal applicants are notified in advance of their renewal submission date that documentation is needed.  Therefore, unless you are notified that you are under audit when you receive your next renewal notice, you may submit just the one page CME form to document your CME activities.  We hope this is welcome news.  Susan C. Marvin, Acting Chief of ADR  

Mediator Qualifications Board Vacancies

The Mediator Qualifications Board (MQB) was appointed in 1992 as the grievance board under the Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators.  The Board is comprised of over 54 members; up to 17 members each from the three regions of Florida.  The members include judges, county mediators, family mediators, circuit mediators, dependency mediators, appellate mediators and non-mediator attorneys who meet in complaint committees and hearing panels when grievances are filed against certified or court-appointed mediators.  Additionally, the MQB’s three member Qualifications Complaint Committee (serves for one year-all meetings are telephonic) reviews issues related to the findings of good moral character required for initial and ongoing certification.  

The MQB is currently accepting applications for the following member appointments:

Northern Division (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 8th, and 14th Judicial Circuits) – Certified Appellate, Circuit, County, and Dependency Mediators, and Non–Mediator Attorneys

Central Division (5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, 10th, 12th, 13th, and 18th Judicial Circuits) – Certified Appellate, Circuit, County, and Dependency Mediators, and Non–Mediator Attorneys

Southern Division (11th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 19th, and 20th Judicial Circuits) – Certified Appellate, Circuit, County, and Dependency Mediators, and Non–Mediator Attorneys

Please submit a letter of interest and current résumé for the appointment you are interested in and qualified for to:

Florida Dispute Resolution Center
Supreme Court Building
500 S. Duval Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399

Fax: (850) 922-9290
Deadline:  October 30, 2016

The Florida Supreme Court has added to its inventory of public outreach programs by placing its own page on Facebook, with its address on the web at: “This addition to our outreach efforts is a product of the new statewide Court Communication Plan approved by the full Court in December,” said Florida Chief Justice Jorge Labarga. “It is yet another way we will tell our story to the public.” The Facebook page joins existing Supreme Court pages on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Google+. The Court also uses YouTube but embeds videos within its own webpages to minimize distractions to viewers.

The Court primarily will use its Facebook page to tell the public news about the Supreme Court family such as people winning awards, personnel recognized for lengthy service, and other soft news. This will contrast with Twitter, which the Court has used since 2009 mainly to distribute hard news such as filings in high-profile cases.


The 2016 Florida Dispute Resolution Center Conference award recipients are Kathy Reuter, Mike Nichols, and Beth Greenfield-Mandler.  Kathy Reuter received the Sharon Press Excellence in ADR award, Mike Nichols and Beth Greenfield-Mandler received the DRC Appreciation Awards and George Knox was presented with the Melvin Rubin Award of Merit from the Florida Academy of Professional Mediators (FAPM).  Initiated in 2009, the Sharon Press Excellence in ADR Award is bestowed upon an individual for visionary leadership, professional integrity, and unwavering devotion to the field of alternative dispute resolution. The Dispute Resolution Center Appreciation Award was inaugurated 20 years ago to formally recognize individuals who make outstanding contributions to the field of ADR in Florida over a significant period of time. Click here for Conference Brochure and Workshop Materials.

Save the Date

25th DRC Annual Conference
August 10-12, 2017
JW Marriott Grande Lakes, Orlando

ATTENTION CIRCUIT MEDIATORS!!!  Presuit homeowners’ association mediations conducted by Florida Supreme Court certified circuit mediators can be used to satisfy the mentorship requirements for initial circuit mediator certification.  Under section 720.311(2)(a), Florida Statutes, presuit mediation “must be conducted in accordance with the applicable Florida Rules of Civil Procedure” and (2)(d) states that the mediator must be Florida Supreme Court circuit certified.  The provisions regarding the observations required for certification are in In re Procedures Governing Certification of Mediators, Fla. Admin. Order AOSC11-1 (January 10, 2011).

Disciplinary Proceedings and Sanctions

The Dispute Resolution Center (DRC) has put a Sanctions page in place. You can access the Sanctions page from the menu on the left by selecting Rules/Discipline/Sanctions.

Contact the DRC

Call 850-921-2910 or send us an email at