Q. What is the purpose of the Appellate Mediation Program?
A. To attempt to amicably resolve appeals early in the appellate process and thereby
save the parties time, expense, and uncertainty.
Q. What cases are eligible for mediation?
A. All final civil appeals (including family law cases) originating in the District, if all
parties are represented by counsel, are eligible for mediation.
Q. How will cases be selected for mediation?
A. If a case meets the threshold requirements for mediation (final civil appeals with
counsel on all sides), the parties will receive a mediation questionnaire to complete
and return to the Mediation Coordinator of the court. Each questionnaire shall be
reviewed by either Judge William D. Palmer, Judge Kerry I. Evander or Judge Jay P. Cohen to decide if that case will be sent to mediation. The
judge who reviews the mediation questionnaire participate as a member
of the merits panel on that case in the event mediation is held but is unsuccessful.
Q. How will the mediators be selected?
A. An approved list of mediators is maintained by the the Florida State Courts Dispute Resolution Center and consists of mediators certified by the
Florida Supreme Court as either circuit civil mediators, family mediators, or
dependency mediators who have taken specialized appellate mediation training. The parties shall first be given the opportunity to mutually
select a mediator from the approved list to mediate their case. In the event the
parties do not agree on a mediator, the court shall randomly assign a mediator from
Q. How will the mediation be conducted?
A. The mediator shall coordinate the time, place, and procedures for the mediation,
including the filing of any mediation summaries.
Q. How will mediation affect the appellate time frames?
A. The parties will receive an automatic extension of all deadlines upon receipt of the
mediation questionnaire from the court. In the event the court orders the case to
mediation, all appellate deadlines will be tolled for up to 45 days until the mediation
is completed, unless there is an approved extension of time for special
circumstances. In the event that the case is not accepted for mediation, all
deadlines will begin to run from the date of the letter informing the parties that the
case has not been accepted for mediation.
Q. What will be the cost of mediation?
A. If the parties jointly select their mediator, they will agree with the mediator on an
hourly fee, to be equally divided between the parties. Mediators will bill the parties
directly and the parties shall be responsible for payment directly to the mediators.
In the event the parties do not agree on a mediator, the mediator randomly selected
by the court will be paid by the parties at the rate of $200 per hour, to be equally
divided between the parties.
Q. What if a party cannot afford mediation?
A. In the event the mediation fees would cause undue financial hardship for a party,
a statement to that effect signed by party and by counsel shall be filed with the
mediation coordinator of the court, in which event a mediator randomly selected
from the panel will conduct the mediation without payment by that party.
Q. What if mediation is not successful?
A. If mediation is unsuccessful, the appeal will proceed in the usual fashion. The court
shall not be informed of any of the discussions which occurred in mediation (all such
conversations being confidential and privileged), but only that mediation was
Q. What happens if mediation is successful?
A. Upon successful completion of a mediation, the court will dispose of the case as
appropriate in that particular case. Disposition of the case might involve dismissal
of the appeal, remand to the trial court for approval of a settlement agreement
which requires court approval, or entry of a stipulated order called for by the
Q. Who do I call if I have questions about the mediation program?
A. The court’s mediation coordinator can be reached at (386)