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Rule 9.02 - Certification, Qualification, and Compensation of Mediators

(a) Certification of Mediators: The chief judge shall certify those persons who are eligible and qualified to serve as mediators under this rule, in such numbers as the chief judge shall deem appropriate. Thereafter, the chief judge shall have complete discretion and authority to withdraw the certification of any mediator at any time.

(b) Lists of Certified Mediators: Lists of certified mediators shall be maintained in each division of the Court, and shall be made available to counsel and the public upon request.

(c) Qualifications of Mediators: An individual may be certified to serve as a mediator if:

(1) He or she is a former state court judge who presided in a court of general jurisdiction and was also a member of the bar in the state in which he presided; or

(2) He or she is a retired federal judicial officer; or

(3) He or she has been a member of a state bar or the bar of the District of Columbia for at least 10 years and is currently admitted to the Bar of this Court.

In addition, an applicant for certification must have completed a minimum of 40 hours in the Florida Circuit Court Mediation Training Course certified by the Florida Supreme Court and be found competent by the chief judge to perform mediation duties.

At the direction of the chief judge, an advisory committee may be constituted to assist in formulating policy and additional standards relating to the qualification of mediators and to assist in reviewing applications of prospective mediators.

(d) Oath Required: Every mediator shall take the oath or affirmation prescribed by 28 U.S.C. Section 453 upon qualifying as a mediator.

(e) Disqualification of a Mediator: Any person selected as a mediator may be disqualified for bias or prejudice as provided in 28 U.S.C. Section 144, and shall be disqualified in any case in which such action would be required by a justice, judge, or magistrate judge governed by 28 U.S.C. Section 455.

(f) Compensation of Mediators: Absent agreement of the parties and the mediator, mediators shall be compensated at a reasonable hourly rate provided by order of the Court after consideration of the amount in controversy, the nature of the dispute, the resources of the parties, the prevailing market rate for mediators in the applicable market, the skill and experience of the mediator, and other pertinent factors. Unless altered by order of the Court, the cost of the mediator's services shall be borne equally by the parties to the mediation conference.

(g) Limitations on Acceptance of Compensation or Other Reimbursement: Except as provided by these rules, no mediator shall charge or accept in connection with the mediation of any particular case, any fee or thing of value from any other source whatever, absent written approval of the Court given in advance of the receipt of any such payment or thing of value.

(h) Mediators as Counsel in Other Cases: Any member of the bar who is certified and designated as a mediator pursuant to these rules shall not for that reason be disqualified from appearing and acting as counsel in any other case pending before the Court.