Mediating in Florida - Dispute Resolution Journal - Vol. 60, No. 3
Christi L. Underwood is an attorney, arbitrator and mediator practicing in the construction and commercial areas. A member of the Board of Directors of the American Arbitration Association, she also serves as a neutral on the AAA’s Large Complex Case, commercial and international panels, and on the AAA Construction Arbitration Master Panel. Ms. Underwood was nominated into the 2005-2006 edition of “The Best Lawyers in America.” Her office is in Orlando, Florida, and she can be reached at www.clu-law.com.
Originally from Dispute Resolution Journal
Effective Jan. 1, 2006, attorneys who are not admitted to the Florida Bar will become subject to new regulations if they wish to represent clients in Florida mediation proceedings. Separate rules apply to U.S. attorneys and attorneys from other countries.
The new regulations, adopted by the Supreme Court of Florida on May 12, 2005, circumscribe what attorneys who are not admitted to the Florida Bar may do, and thereby define what constitutes the “unlicensed practice of law” in the state. The new rules are fairly liberal in allowing the multijurisdictional practice of private commercial mediation in Florida by non-Florida attorneys. The court’s opinion and the new rules can be downloaded from the Internet at www.floridasupremecourt/org/decisions/2005/sc04-135.pdf.
The article on page 30 of this issue of the Journal addresses how the new rules affect appearances by non-Florida lawyers in arbitrations in Florida. This article focuses on the implications for appearances in mediation. Because the rules detail the procedures and limitations that apply, all non-Florida lawyers desiring to participate as an advocate in mediation in Florida should read the new rules very carefully, along with the accompanying comments, which amplify the rules.