Appellate mediation is the mediation of an action which has been previously decided by a court of law and is currently being appealed by the aggrieved party. It may seem counterintuitive to pursue Appellate Mediation of a decided case, especially if you are the prevailing party. Besides, the parties already participated in mediation prior to trial and the mediation was unsuccessful. However, the benefits of Appellate Mediation can outweigh the risk having your recently obtained courtroom victory reversed on appeal.
Parties often have a preconceived notion that they will win their case on appeal. Based on constraints of the appellate court, such as the scope of the appeal and the standard of review, these preconceived notions are mere conjecture. Appellate court panels can be highly unpredictable. The party who prevailed in the trial court runs the risk of loosing all they gained. Likewise, the party who filed the appeal runs the risk of further their monetary loss. AND BOTH PARTIES RUN THE RISK OF PAYING THE OTHER SIDE’S APPELLATE ATTORNEY’S FEES.
Why is Appellate Mediation better? Because the parties control the outcome. Also, mediation takes place early in the appellate process in order to save both parties the time and expense of an appeal. Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeals has maintained an Appellate Mediation mandate since 2001. Over the past 10 years, 35% of the cases the 5th DCA sent to Appellate Mediation successfully settled. Alabama experienced a 50% success of all cases referred to Appellate Mediation since 2004. Like circuit court mediation, all information disclosed in the course of the mediation process is deemed confidential. If the parties reach impasse, they simply continue on the path to appeal.
On January 10, 2011, the Florida Supreme Court issued Administrative Order AOCS11-1, In Re: Procedures Governing Certification of Mediators. As a result, only mediators certified by the Florida Supreme Court in Appellate Mediation can practice Appellate Mediation in the State of Florida.Mr. Wohlsifer promptly completed the requisite in-class training and became certified. Mr. Wohlsifer’s Appellate Mediation rates are the same as those for circuit court mediation. See our Fee Schedule page for further detail.