Take It To the Board: Alternative Dispute Resolution with Jeffrey Streitfeld, Mediator

Take It To the Board: Alternative Dispute Resolution with Jeffrey Streitfeld, Mediator

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When there’s a dispute that can’t be resolved amicably, lawsuits are not the only option. Mediation and arbitration are often used to save both sides considerable amounts of time and money. In this episode of Take It to the Board, host Donna DiMaggio Berger speaks with former Judge Jeffrey Streitfeld, who has worked on legal disputes from nearly all sides. Jeff is currently certified by the Florida Supreme Court as a Circuit Civil Mediator, though he previously served as a trial judge, and was even one of the founding members of Becker back when the firm known as Becker, Poliakoff & Streitfeld. Jeff Streitfeld was known for pushing boundaries and creating new caselaw for community associations in Florida. He was elected to the bench in 1990 and was reelected three times without opposition, serving as a trial court judge for 24 years while presiding over nearly 400 jury trials.  Donna and Jeff discuss how people can find common ground in their disputes without ever stepping foot in a courtroom.

Highlights Include:

  • What are the different types of mediation?
  • What are the basic elements of mediation?
  • Are board members or owners who want to go to court over the “principle” of the matter making a costly mistake?
  • What is the difference between voluntary mediation and court-ordered mediation?
  • What are the challenges when either party shows up for pre-suit mediation without counsel?How does that dynamic change the role of the mediator?
  • When evaluating costs and successful outcomes, what is the difference between mediation and litigation?
  • Is there currently a trend towards informality in courtroom decorum?
  • What can an association board and its counsel do to prepare for mediation to make it most effective?
  • How long do mediations take?
  • Who should attend a mediation on behalf of the association?
  • How does a mediator deal with an uncooperative party?
  • What kind of disputes can a mediator typically resolve?
  • Is there any truth to the charge that “fat cat” and other inconsequential cases clogged the courts in Florida before pre-suit arbitration was mandated?
  • How are association mediations different from other civil matters?
  • If an agreement is reached, how important is it to have it drafted at the mediation, as opposed to just “doing the paperwork later”?
  • Is mediation preferable to arbitration in terms of consistent outcomes?
  • How did mediation become so popular as an alternative to litigation?
  • What is the most important aspect of mediation?
  • Violence against judges is on the rise. How big a threat do threats to the Judiciary pose for our democracy?

About Take It to the Board

Think you know what community association life is all about? Think again. Residents must obey the rules, directors must follow the law, and managers must keep it all running smoothly. Take It To the Board explores the reality of life in a condominium, cooperative or homeowners’ association, what’s really involved in serving on its board, and how to maintain that ever-so-delicate balance of being legally compliant and community spirited. Leading community association attorney Donna DiMaggio Berger acknowledges the balancing act without losing her sense of humor as she talks with a variety of association leaders, experts, and vendors about the challenges and benefits of the community association lifestyle.

If you’ve got a question, Take It To the Board with Donna DiMaggio Berger – We Speak Condo & HOA!

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