Peter S. Van Keuren, J.D.

Supreme Court Certified Circuit Mediator and qualified arbitrator


Mediation is a process whereby a neutral and impartial third person acts to encourage and facilitate the resolution of a dispute without prescribing what  it should be. It is an informal and non-adversarial process intended to help  disputing parties reach a mutually acceptable agreement.  The process encourages and  facilitates dispute resolution by using a mediator who must have no connection to  the case, must be able to remain impartial throughout the process, and must encourage the parties to make their own decisions.  Mediation frequently is, but does not have to be, in connection with a lawsuit. While mediation may be ordered by the court, it may also be voluntarily initiated by the parties either before or after filing a lawsuit. In fact, there are Florida statutes that call for mediation when no lawsuit is pending .

What are some advantages to Mediation?

  1. A mediator facilitates negotiations.
  2. Mediation is confidential.
  3. Mediation agreements are enforceable.
  4. Mediation gives the parties flexibility.
  5. Mediation is not an adversarial process.
  6. Settlement decisions are made by the parties.
  7. Mediation may result in less time, cost and stress than litigation.
  8. In mediation the parties are in control of the outcome.

Mediation services are charged at an hourly rate with a two hour minimum.  Mediation fees are split between the parties unless agreed otherwise.  The charges for the mediation conference will cover all time spent in preparation (including review of the court file and the summaries), telephone conferences with counsel, follow up telephone conferences, preparation of the report to the court, etc., as well as the time spent in or allocated for the conference.*


Arbitration is a procedure in which a dispute is submitted, by agreement of the parties, to one or more arbitrators who make a binding decision on the dispute. In choosing arbitration, the parties opt for a private dispute resolution procedure instead of going to court.

The principal characteristics are:

  1. Arbitration is consensual,
  2. The parties choose the arbitrator(s),
  3. Arbitration is neutral,
  4. Arbitration is a confidential procedure,
  5. The decision of the arbitration panel is final and easy to enforce.‚Äč

Arbitration services are conducted on a per diem basis and the parties are responsible for securing an appropriate venue for the arbitration.*

*   Fees are subject to change or modification.  Please call and inquire about current rates when scheduling your conference.  No travel time is charged for conferences conducted within Palm Beach and Martin County, Florida.   Hourly travel charges may be charged for conferences conducted outside Palm Beach or Martin Counties.  No cancellation fees will be charged if 24 hours notice is provided, or, if the conference i rescheduled.  

The attorneys are responsible for making prior financial arrangements with their clients or escrow arrangements to pay the cost of mediation or arbitration.   The cost of the conference will be billed to the attorney and the mediator looks to the attorney for payment since the mediator has no way of knowing the client or judging the creditworthiness of the client. Charges are due upon receipt of the invoice.