Giving Opportunities

Upchurch, Watson, White & Max Dispute Resolution Fund

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This fund was established in 1999 by the Upchurch, Watson and White Mediation Group to support the Institute for Dispute Resolution in the Fredric G. Levin College of Law with symposia, lectures, research projects and other activities focused on commercial mediation.

University of Florida’s Levin College of Law has played an active role in the development of Alternative Dispute Resolution in Florida.

The Institute for Dispute Resolution (IDR) was the first of its kind established at a law school in Florida, as a result of state legislators enacting one of the first laws in the country giving judges broad authority to order mediation in all types of civil lawsuits. Students who complete IDR courses are prepared for changes already taking place in how law is practiced.

In addition, the Virgil D. Hawkins Mediation Clinic provides the intensive mediation training required to attain Supreme Court certification as a County Mediator. Students are trained to become mediators through participation in actual court proceedings involving areas such as landlord-tenant, contract, auto repair, debtor/creditor and consumer issues.

In 1988, when the state of Florida took the bold step of requiring mediation in nearly all civil cases, the principals of Upchurch Watson and White (now Upchurch Watson White and Max) rapidly emerged as leaders in the development and guidance of the alternative dispute resolution movement in Florida. Members of Upchurch Watson White and Max served on and chaired key committees appointed by the Supreme Court of Florida. This effort helped make Florida one of the preeminent jurisdictions in the country implementing innovative methods of alternative dispute resolution.

Today, Upchurch Watson White and Max, a leading mediation specialty firm, includes a large and growing number of Supreme Court certified attorney mediators with wide-ranging specialties. Each serves as a court-appointed and privately employed mediator, arbitrator and third-party neutral case manager.

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