Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.720 (Mediation Procedures)
Reminder, on January 1, 2012 some important changes went into effect regarding Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.720 (Mediation Procedures).
1. Generally, a party or its representative with full authority to settle must appear. However, governmental entities subject to the sunshine law may appear by a representative “with full authority to negotiate on behalf of the entity and recommend settlement to the appropriate decision-making body of the entity.” 1.720 (d).
2. Unless otherwise stipulated, ten days prior to the mediation each party must file and serve a notice identifying the person(s) who will attend the mediation as a party representative, and confirming that the person has the requisite authority. 1.720 (e).
3. If a party fails to appear at mediation without good cause, the court shall impose sanctions, including mediation fees, attorneys’ fees, and costs, against that party. Failure to file the confirmation of authority, or the failure of the persons identified in the confirmation to appear, shall create a rebuttable presumption of a failure to appear. 1.720(f).