John Upchurch, CEO and president of Upchurch Watson White & Max Mediation Group, announced Friday that, to assure security and privacy, the group has adopted “a set of principles to govern all videoconference mediations conducted by members of the firm, regardless of the platform in use for a particular case.”
Since the coronavirus pandemic began to oblige social distancing in Florida in March, UWWM panel members have conducted more than 200 mediations and arbitrations by videoconference on various platforms, including Zoom, WebEx and GoToMeeting. Nearly 130 are already on the books for the next few months, aside from in-person mediations and arbitrations likely to take place after restrictions are lifted.
Because of UWWM’s experience in online dispute resolution, the Florida Justice Association leadership asked the group to formulate “a uniform approach” to cybersecurity for these proceedings. A particular concern about virtual mediations was the ability of participants to record the meeting.”
Announced last week, UWWM’s model protocol, which can be found in its entirety here, calls for security measures such as disabling the recording function for the host and all attendees and reiterating “to all that recording a mediation is illegal and subject to severe sanctions by the court.”