A Pembroke Pines mediator has been suspended for six months by the Florida Mediator Qualifications Board for not disclosing a conflict of interest in more than 100 mediations.
Ronald Weeks also was punished for misrepresenting his qualifications, the board said in a disciplinary report.
Weeks was hired by his sister-in-law, Karen Watson, the mediation coordinator at the Fort Lauderdale office of Phelan Hallinan, a Philadelphia-based law firm representing mortgage banks. Weeks was paid more than $30,000 over a one-month period for his services.
Weeks violated state rules for certified and court-appointed mediators by mediating cases where he had a conflict of interest and failing to disclose that to participants, the board report states. Weeks admitted the charges.
He also engaged in misleading representations by issuing 25 invoices Nov. 16, 2011, identifying himself as a certified circuit court mediator. He was not certified until two days later, the board noted. Weeks later claimed he was a “Florida Supreme Court certified mediator,” another falsehood.
In addition to the suspension, Weeks must take six hours of continuing mediator education courses on ethics, impartiality and conflict of interest, review all Mediator Ethics Advisory Commission opinions on these topics and write a reflective statement.