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Authors

Sharon Press

Symposium Subtitle

ADR as Public Policy: Domestic and International Perspectives

First Paragraph

Court-connected mediation, which includes both court mandated and court encouraged mediation, has become a well-established part of the judicial system in the United States. There are many public policy implications of this phenomenon. These include the underlying goals of the development of court-connection mediation and the responsibility to the once a court-connected mediation program is established to ensure that the public has access to quality providers of mediation services. Once a court-connected mediation program has established qualifications and ethical standards for mediators, there is a public policy obligation for there also to be a mechanism to educate, reprimand or remove individuals from the list of qualified mediators if they have deviated from the standard expected of them. In this article, I will explore the public policy implications of mediator ethical breaches using the Florida state court-connected mediation experience as a prototype. Specifically, I will attempt to answer the following questions: What are appropriate goals for a grievance process from a public policy viewpoint? Should a grievance process include informal as well as formal means of reviewing grievances? How should a formal hearing process be designed to meet the public policy goals for establishing court-connected mediation programs as well as the interests of the litigants and the mediators?

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