Tampa Family Law Mediators
Richard J. Mockler
Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator
Richard is a full-time mediator. His entire practice is focused on mediation as a means to resolving disputes. Richard's experience as a mediator is unique. Richard also gained significant worldly experience in the United States Marine Corps. And, in addition to his legal education, Richard has a strong business background, a degree in Finance, and a Master of Laws in Taxation.
As an attorney, Richard worked at three of the country's largest and most prestigious national law firms, representing many of America's most well-known companies in financial and intellectual property matters. Richard practiced almost exclusively in federal court. Richard later established his own practice, where he represented small businesses and individuals in civil and business disputes.
Richard also built a substantial family law practice, where he excelled in understanding the technical and financial aspects of the practice, as well as the psychological, parenting, and other "human" issues that pervade family law.
In every mediation, Richard uses his aptitude for numbers, broad understanding of the law, ability to listen, and strong sense of human empathy to help resolve disputes.
Richard started his legal career in Miami, where he worked at two of the nation’s most prestigious national law firms. Richard was involved in high-stakes litigation matters for many of America’s most well-known businesses and financial institutions. Richard defended public companies and their officers and directors in connection with class actions lawsuits, derivative actions, and federal investigations. Richard worked on several matters that received national media coverage and a number of cases with more than $100 million at stake.
After Richard opened his own law firm in 2008, he continued to represent companies and individuals in federal cases, business disputes, and commercial litigation. Richard also focused much of his private practice on family law matters. In the family law arena, Richard devoted his time to representing men and women in cases involving complex financial issues, disputes over the control and valuation of closely held companies, high-conflict child custody disputes, relocation requests, and military divorces.
Richard currently serves on the Executive Counsel of the Family Law Section of the Hillsborough County Bar Association. Richard has been selected by his peers and recognized as a Florida Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers Magazine. He was previously recognized as a Super Lawyers Rising Star for Florida for 4 consecutive years.
Richard attended the University of Florida College of Law, where he graduated with honors. In 1998, he was the Chester Ferguson Scholarship Recipient. Richard was also a member of the International Moot Court Team and participated in the William C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot. Additionally, Richard served as a Teaching Assistant for Legal Research and Writing and Appellate Advocacy.
Richard was also a leader on campus, where he was elected President of the Law School's Student Bar Association. He also served on the Executive Board of the University of Florida's Law College Council. Prior to graduation, Richard was inducted into the Florida Blue Key leadership honorary, received the University of Florida Presidential Recognition Award, received the Levin College of Law Pro Bono Certificate, and was named the Levin College of Law 2000 Student of the Year.
In 2002, Richard earned his Master of Laws in Taxation from the University of Florida’s Graduate Tax Program. The Graduate Tax Program is widely recognized as one of the nation's best.
Prior to becoming an attorney, Richard served as a United States Marine with the 4th Assault Amphibian Battalion in Tampa, Florida. Richard was the Battalion Embarkation Specialist prior to the Unit's mobilization to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Richard received the Navy Achievement Medal for his exemplary efforts to prepare his battalion to embark for combat. Richard was also recognized as the Honor Graduate during his training at the Naval Expeditionary Warfare College, Atlantic. Richard also received the Outstanding Community Service Medal, National Defense Medal, Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal, and a Marine Corps Certificate of Commendation for exemplary community service. Richard's military experience helps him relate to many people from different walks of life.
Richard 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.