In Florida, nearly all cases must be mediated prior to going to trial. Some cases must be mediated more than once. In nearly every case, the parties and their lawyers may choose the mediator. Naturally, individuals without lawyers have even more input in the selection of the mediator.
There are many mediators Florida and in Palm Beach County. Many are very qualified by training, experience and demeanor; others less so. Some mediators have extensive legal experience from many years of practicing law. Many have little or no legal experience. If you need the services of a mediator, you should use the same care that you would use when selecting a surgeon, an accountant, a contractor or any other professional where the outcome of the service is important. You want a mediator with extensive legal knowledge as well as one with extensive mediation experience.
As a mediator, Andrew Helgesen has resolved legal disputes since 1990, when he began his mediation practice and when mediation was in Florida was in its infancy. That practice started at the request of other lawyers who requested his services to help them and their clients settle legal disputes. He continues to mediate civil and family law cases for unrepresented parties (without lawyers) and with parties represented by lawyers. Andrew Helgesen has settled many disputes with unrepresented participants.