Florida's High Court Limits Role of Senior Judges Serving as Mediators


On June 19, 2014, the Florida Supreme Court amended the Code of Judicial Conduct and six rules of procedure relating to senior judges who also serve as mediators.  To view the opinion click here.

Senior judges were first authorized to perform dual service when a new Code of Judicial Conduct was adopted in 1994.  In its opinion, the Court described its ongoing concern that senior judges who serve as private mediators could potentially be seen as violating the Code, particularly as it relates to impropriety, exploitation of judicial position, and the impermissible lending of the prestige of judicial office to advance the private interests of others.  In view of this, the Court previously published for comment amendments to the Code and rules that would have prohibited dual service.

Responding to significant opposition to the proposed prohibition, the Court decided to allow senior judges to continue to serve as mediators. To address its concerns, however, the Court chose to add two new provisions to the Code and rules:

            • Senior judges are now prohibited from serving as a mediator in any case in a judicial circuit where they preside as a judge.

            • The mediation firm affiliated with the judge is required to follow the same prohibitions on advertising and promotion that are imposed on the judge.

The Court characterized these amendments as two additional safeguards to further alleviate the concern that dual service inappropriately creates an advantage in generating mediation business.  

These changes will become effective on October 1, 2014.


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Sedgwick LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Sedgwick LLP on:

Popular Topics
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.