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Roger C. Benson



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United States - FL
English
Mediation Profile

I began mediating in 1989, as one of the first court certified mediators in Florida. Since then, I have mediated over 2,500 cases of every type and variety. I have firmly established a reputation as a strong, creative and tireless professional committed to a philosophy of neutrality combined with a rigorous, activist approach to problem solving. My rates are competitive and my practice is international in scope.

I began mediating in 1989 and since 1998 have been a full-time mediator. My work has included virtually every area of the law and I have worked with a veritable rainbow of people. I have mediated more than 2,500 cases, including complex, multi-party litigation in both state and federal courts. Issues have encompassed employment and civil rights claims, medical, dental, nursing and hospital/nursing home malpractice, personal injury/wrongful death, construction disputes, real estate matters, contested divorce, securities claims, insurance claims, commercial claims, intellectual property disputes, environmental controversies and mortgage foreclosures.

Neutrality is enshrined in the rules that govern the conduct of Florida mediators but it (neutrality) is often seen as an impediment to a mediator’s effectiveness in “getting the case settled.” It is a fact that mediators can be both neutral and effective. Law suits are a last resort for resolving arguments. In a highly stylized ritual, the parties organize their arguments according to a rigid set of rules and ask a tribal chief (the judge) or the village elders (a jury) to decide which of them should prevail. Mediation is a fundamentally different way to resolve an argument. It begins with a commitment by the parties to the possibility that they will hear something during the mediation that appeals to their reason and suggests an outcome that makes sense to them. That does not pre-suppose any particular outcome. What it does mean is that if they resolve their conflict, it will be on terms of their own making, based on their experience of the “truth.” The mediator who succumbs to the temptation, or accepts the invitation, to tell the parties what he or she thinks is a good, likely, fair or reasonable outcome, takes on a fundamentally different role.…. that of Aristotle’s orator. This “mediator” abandons any notion that there are any systems to guide the parties and, perhaps most importantly, assumes that the parties “are persons who cannot take in at a glance a complicated argument, or follow a long chain of reasoning.” The mediator who makes predictions or suggests outcomes then has to set about figuring out how to persuade the parties that he or she is right: The orator [mediator] must consider how to arouse and use the passions of his audience, as well as calculate how far to go in displaying his own emotions. He must consider the moral character of the audience to which he is appealing, and in this connection he must try to exhibit his own character in a favorable light. Finally, he must know the various types and sources of rhetorical argument – not only what sources of rhetorical argument are available for a particular purpose, but also how to employ each argument most persuasively. The Great Ideas, Mortimer J. Adler, MacMillan Publishing Co. New York, 1992, page748.
Employment and Labor Law Since I began mediating in 1989, I have mediated the entire gamut of labor and employment law topics in several hundred cases across a wide variety of industries. This is a unique and ever-changing area of the law and one in which subject matter expertise can prove helpful. Securities Law I have mediated and arbitrated customer claims for FINRA (formerly NASD) and the New York Stock Exchange. I was also selected for the national panel of mediators in two important class action lawsuits involving employment law issues in the securities industry, Cremin, et al. vs. Merrill Lynch, Class Action Claims Resolution Process (administered by Northwestern University Law School; Martens, et al. vs. Smith Barney, Class Action Claims Resolution Process (administered by Duke University Law School). In addition, I served as an arbitrator on the panel that decided the first claim in the Smith Barney case. Insurance I have extensive experience mediating insurance claims involving coverage issues and allegations of bad faith. Commercial claims I have mediated complex, multi-party commercial disputes in a wide variety of industries. Environmental claims I have mediated a significant number of cases involving highly technical disputes between governmental agencies and land owners/developers. Personal injury/medical/professional malpractice I have mediated many very challenging and highly charged cases involving serious injury and wrongful death claims. Divorce I regularly mediate high asset divorces involving minor children, alimony claims and complicated property settlements.

$300.00 per hour; no charge for time spent traveling to and from the mediation site

The Florida Bar - Member in good standing 
Florida Academy of Professional Mediators
ACR
CPR

Fulbright Specialist - Mediation - 2018-2021

Please let me know if you want references and I will be happy to provide them.

Training and Education

Advanced Workshop for Mediators in Intellectual Property Disputes, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations 
Harvard Law School — Advanced Negotiation: Applications to Gender
U.S. Department of Justice, Americans with Disabilities Act mediation training for professional mediators 
Florida Supreme Court mediator certification training – circuit/country/family/appellate; Additional advanced circuit and family mediation training.
Northwestern University - Kellogg Business School - advanced workshop on teaching negotiation
Collins Center for Public Policy - mediating insurance claims, including coverage issues; "lemon law" mediation recreational vehicles
Florida Growth Management Consortium - public/private public policy mediation
Florida Dispute Resolution Center - primary trainer for Florida Supreme Court mediation certification
Teaching the Lessons of the Holocaust - International Program for Educators - Yad Vashem - Jerusalem, Israel
Court Annexed Mediation of Residential Foreclosure cases - Florida

Regular faculty (lecture and role play critique) University of South Florida Circuit Civil mediation training

Publications
Compliance

IMI Code of Professional Conduct
Florida Rules for Certified & Court-Appointed Mediators

IMI Professional Conduct Assessment Process
Florida Rules for Certified & Court-Appointed Mediators

ACR Professional Liability Insurance Program (Pinkham Agency Inc) $1,000,000 single limit

Contact
Roger C.
Benson
Roger Benson
727-822-0357
727-822-0357
Benson Mediation
2158 Blossom Way South
St. Petersburg
Florida
33712-6016
United States
Diversity data (optional - not publicly visible)