Joseph P. Farina, retired Chief Judge of the 11th Judicial Circuit, is highly regarded as an active and effective settlement neutral who managed the resolution of countless complex matters as a Judge for over thirty years. Most recently, he was awarded the 2016 Dade County Bar Association Legal Luminary Mediation Award as “Best Mediator”. As a full time mediator, arbitrator, special magistrate, neutral evaluator and neutral umpire at JAMS, Mr. Farina has quickly distinguished himself as a knowledgeable and efficient neutral who works diligently every step of the way toward helping parties arrive at the best possible outcome to their dispute.
Prior to joining JAMS, Mr. Farina served as a Circuit Judge in the Circuit Civil Division of the 11th Judicial Circuit in Miami-Dade County, Florida from 1981 to 2012. From 1995 to 2009, he served for 14 years as Chief Judge, supervising the full operations of the Miami-Dade Court system, which is comprised of 123 judges, 15 general magistrates, 20 traffic hearing officers, and more than 500 administrative court staff serving in 10 courthouses. Mr. Farina has been recognized by many national, state, and local organizations for his leadership, professionalism, and accomplishments. During his more than 30 years on the bench, Mr. Farina was consistently rated one of the top judges in bar association polls.
ADR Experience and Qualifications
- While handling the asbestos and Chinese drywall calendars, Mr. Farina presided over 3,500 cases, including complex business and financial disputes, class actions, product liability claims, significant personal injuries, including death claims, and a substantial number of commercial and residential foreclosure cases together with a civil docket involving claims in excess of $15,000
- Conducted numerous settlement conferences during his service on the Circuit Court
- Florida Supreme Court’s Circuit Civil Mediator Certification
- Florida Supreme Court Qualified Arbitrator
- Mr. Farina presided over hundreds of hearings and trials, mediated or arbitrated numerous cases involving a wide variety of issues including:
- Business/Commercial: Breach of contract and indebtedness, civil forfeitures, commercial foreclosures, corporate and business governance, declaratory judgments, discovery disputes, fraud, factoring and financing, indemnification and contribution, injunctive relief, insurance claims, partnerships/joint ventures, premises liability, replevin, shareholder disputes, trade names, unfair/deceptive business practices
- Class Action/Mass Tort: Presided over nation’s first Chinese drywall jury trial, asbestos and Chinese drywall litigation, class certification, constitutional challenges, economic loss rule, fairness hearings, Frye hearings, mesothelioma, motions in limine
- Construction: Disputes involving construction of and damage to residential and commercial buildings, construction liens
- Employment: Breach of employment contracts, non-compete agreements
- Environmental: County ordinance and state statute enforcement, regulation, violation
- Personal Injury/Torts: Presided over wrongful death actions involving an Arrow Air plane crash, change of venue, Fabre issues, forum non conveniens, libel/slander, motor vehicle and water craft negligence, negligent security, premises liability, product liability, punitive damages, sexual abuse, slip and fall, treble damages, trust litigation, wrongful death actions
- Professional Liability: Business, legal, and medical malpractice claims, loss of license hearings
- Real Property: Residential and commercial claims, leases, purchases and sales, commercial and residential mortgage foreclosures, commission claims, condemnation, condominium, deposit returns, homeowner associations, landlord-tenant disputes, land use
- Mediated the return of a $250,000 security deposit regarding voided sale of a condominium unit. Parties involved were a Bahamian company and a Turkish national.
- Mediated a matter involving the improper seizure of a private jet through the fraudulent use of a domesticated out of state judgment.
- Appointed as a Special Magistrate to monitor video depositions at Federal corrections facility related to a complex civil case involving financial institutions, investors and a title company.
- Served as a Curator of the Estate to resolve conflicts between two personal representatives with divergent and competing interests. Reviewed emails and created privilege logs concerning personal and sensitive material.
- Mediated a matter involving a commercial property landlord suing a tenant for breach of lease, specifically the violation of covenants restricting use of the premises for a specified type of business. Tenant was an international franchisor occupying multiple floors of property during a multi-year lease.
- Mediated suit regarding breach of joint venture agreement, breach of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment and an equitable lien on real estate.
- Mediated insurance dispute over a substantial water leak from adjoining businesses for which the business/property insurer was contesting the extent of the water damage, and relying on insurance policy limitations and exclusions to minimize liability and payment.
- Mediated case involving condominium owners sued for defamation, libel per se, together with violations of the Federal Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (FCCPA).
- Mediated a case involving physical assault and robbery of school teacher by a student. Issues included sovereign immunity, punitive damages and the legislative claims bill.
- Arbitrated employment matter involving claim of termination without cause, unpaid wages, costs, interest and attorney fees. Issues included: minimum guaranteed bonus; accrued, unpaid base salary; accrued unused vacation; and accrued equity interest in the company.
- Arbitrated a dispute of a foreclosure of mortgage on expensive residential property. Issues included a negotiated short sale amount, private investor financing, and waiver of deficiency and dismissal of pending law suit.
- Mediated matter involving bank foreclosure on a strip mall owned by a limited liability company. Issues involved personal guarantees on mortgage, collections, and judgments against individuals involved.
- Mediated claim again a large insurance company after a driver injured two pedestrians with his vehicle. Case involved alleged violations of insurance company policy limits and, rules governing the regulation of attorneys
- Mediated first party insurance benefits claim involving a commercial property which flooded during a heavy thunderstorm. Case involved multiple elements of policy coverage and exclusions.
- Mediated insurance coverage case where Plaintiff suffered from multiple sclerosis, and sought coverage under medical insurance policy for a prescription drug. Issues involved breach of contract claims together with declaratory judgment relief regarding the policy’s benefits.
- Mediated case where Plaintiff was injured stepping into an uncovered water meter box in a city sidewalk, requiring surgery. Claims included disability and lose of wages.
- Mediated breach of contract dispute between a computer technology company claiming unpaid fees for services rendered and a non-profit corporation.
- Mediated case with Plaintiff seeking damages for wrongful death of spouse as a result of a fatal shooting that occurred at their condominium property. Issues concerned criminal trespassing, adequate security, premises liability and extent of wrongful death damages.
- Mediated medical dental malpractice claim against an oral surgeon for failing to diagnosis a tumor inside the mouth. Claim of delayed treatment causing facial deformity and extensive physical, neurological and psychological injury.
- Mediated insurance coverage actions involving catastrophic automobile accidents with significant injuries and/or death.