Mediation Case Law Teaching Videos

Vitakis v. Valchine, 793 So. 2d 1094 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2001)

James Coben, Hamline University

Play time: 1:55 minutes

Remanding to trial court for consideration of wife's allegation that mediator committed misconduct by improperly influencing her and coercing her into agreement, noting an exception to the general rule that coercion and duress by a third party is insufficient to invalidate an agreement between principals.

Quote From The Court: "During a court-ordered mediation, the mediator is no ordinary third party, but is, for all intent and purposes, an agent of the court carrying out an official court-ordered function. We hold that the court may invoke its inherent power to maintain the integrity of the judicial system and its processes by invalidating a court-ordered mediation settlement agreement obtained through violation and abuse of the judicially-prescribed mediation procedures." 793 So.2d at 1099.