https://dallegal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/DAL_revision4-1-300x91.png 0 0 Adam Diaz https://dallegal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/DAL_revision4-1-300x91.png Adam Diaz2022-11-29 21:58:292022-11-29 22:10:42MEDIATED SETTLEMENT AGREEMENTS | KEY POINTS
- The Second DCA refused to enforce a mediated settlement agreement that, although signed by the attorneys for both parties to the agreement, was not signed by either of their clients. Parkland Condo. Ass’n v. Henderson, ___ So. 3d ___, 2022 WL 16954010 (Fla. 2d DCA Nov. 16, 2022).In Henderson, the unit owner sued her condominium association when her unit was damaged by a water leak. The parties engaged in court mandated mediation and reached a settlement agreement that “included all essential terms” of the parties’ agreement and which their attorneys reduced to writing.
- Although the agreement was reduced to writing neither the unit owner nor association signed the agreement in violation of Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.730(b) which required both the attorneys and parties sign any mediated settlement agreement. The association moved to enforce the parties’ agreement, but the trial court found there was no meeting of the minds and denied the motion. The association appealed that order.
- On appeal the Second DCA affirmed, but for a different reason. The DCA found the parties’ agreement “likely” would have been “binding and enforceable” had it been reached outside of mediation. However, the Court concluded it was “constrained” to a different result based on the plain and unambiguous language of Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.730(b) which required that both the parties and their attorneys sign any settlement agreement. Based on that requirement, the Court held that any settlement agreement reached by the parties was unenforceable.