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New Attendance Requirements for Mediation in Florida

November 21, 2011

Mediation requirements in Florida are now more demanding on insurers and defendants. Florida currently requires that mediation be completed in civil cases before a case may proceed to trial. In an effort to make the experience more meaningful and productive, new requirements for attendance by the “decision-makers” in the case will be imposed on parties to actions filed in the state courts of Florida. Effective January 1, 2012, new amendments to Rule 1.720, mandate the physical attendance at mediation by the party, the party’s counsel and a representative of the insurance carrier for any insured party. Further, the representative of the insurance carrier, who is not the carrier’s outside counsel, must have “full authority to settle in an amount up to the amount of the plaintiff’s last demand or policy limits, whichever is less, without further consultation.” A party is also now required to file and serve a notice identifying the persons who will attend the mediation and confirming he or she will attend with the required authority. 

If you litigate cases in Florida, you need to be aware of the changes to the Rule. Please click the link below to read the full rule change.

*Reprinted from Westlaw with permission from Thomson Reuters