Tampa Family Law Mediators
Mr. Wartenberg is a board certified marital and family lawyer who has practiced exclusively in the area of marital and family law throughout his legal career since 1994. He is presently the owner and sole shareholder of Philip S. Wartenberg, P.A., a law firm specializing in marital and family law. His firm represents individuals throughout the Tampa Bay area and the State of Florida.Mr. Wartenberg graduated with a Juris Doctor from Stetson University College of Law in 1994, where he served as a Notes and Comments Editor for the Stetson Law Review. He graduated from the University of Florida in 1991 with a degree in Business Administration with a finance major.
Prior to entering private practice in 1998, Mr. Wartenberg served as Senior Staff Attorney for the Family Law Division of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit in Tampa. In that capacity, he worked directly with family law judges handling contested family law matters. From 1998 to 2001, he practiced as an associate attorney with Nancy Hutcheson Harris & Associates, P.A. In 2001, he went into practice as a sole practitioner by founding Philip S. Wartenberg, P.A. In 2007, he attained board certification as a specialist in the area of marital and family law.
Mr. Wartenberg is a member of the Florida Bar, the Hillsborough County Bar Association, and the Family Law Inn of Court of Tampa Bay. Mr. Wartenberg is the Immediate Past Chair of the Family Law Section of the Hillsborough County Bar, having served as Chair for the 2007-2008 term. Mr. Wartenberg has published numerous articles and has presented or lectured to multiple groups on various family law-related issues. He has served on the Executive Council of the Family Law Section since 2001. He was an investigating member of the Florida Bar's Grievance Committee 13-D for the Thirteenth Circuit from 2003 through 2006.
Mr. Wartenberg is additionally a Charter Member of the Rotary Club of Tampa Downtown Daybreak, which was formed in 2002; and has served as both Secretary and Treasurer for this club during his membership.Mr. Wartenberg was honored in 2008 as the recipient of the Family Law Inn of Tampa's Ted S. Millison Professionalism Award.
Phil feels that the best mediators are good listeners. You cannot help resolve disputes unless you first under the nature of the conflict. People are more likely to trust a mediator if they feel that the mediator respects and understands them.
At the same time, a mediator has to control the pace of the negotiations. Mediation offers an important window for parties to resolve their dispute. The mediation cannot be bogged down complaining about how bad the other party may be. It is important to allow parties to vent, but it is also critical to focus on the negotiations at hand. This starts with defining the issues. The next step is to discuss potential solutions to the problems the parties face. If a mutually agreeable solution does not materialize, a good mediator will help the parties consider alternatives that might seem "outside the box."
In addition to facilitating the parties' negotiations, a good mediator should also be able to quickly and accurately memorialize any agreement the parties reach. This is an important place where the mediator must maintain neutrality. The terms of any mediated settlement agreement should be fair to both parties. And, the mediator should refrain from "adding terms" that might protect or favor one party over the other.
The mediator plays a critical role in the parties' family law case. A mediator should be a good listener. A mediator should work efficiently and keep the negotiations on track. And, if the mediator participates in drafting any agreement, the mediator should ensure the terms of the written agreement accurately reflect the parties' negotiations and that the terms are fair to both parties.