“Given the backlog of cases in the court system and the need to have things done in certain cases expeditiously, there is a market for this,” said Judge Michael A. Hanzman, who retired after 12 years on the Miami-Dade Circuit Court, overseeing some of South Florida’s most high-profile legal matters, including presiding over the litigation stemming from the 2021 Surfside condo collapse.

‘I Want to Participate in This’

Judge Michael Hanzman of the Miami-Dade Circuit Court in Miami, FL. Courtesy photo Former Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman. Courtesy photo

“The statute can bring clients tremendous benefits,” Hanzman said. “Other forms of alternative dispute resolution have been used: arbitration, mediation and other forms of ADR, but the trial-resolution statute has really been collecting dust. It has not been utilized.”

Hanzman reentered private practice as senior counsel at Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod in Miami after announcing his retirement from the state court bench last May. He believes clients can realize compelling benefits through application of the statute. He joined the firm not only as a trial attorney, but as a trial-resolution judge.

“I want to participate in this, and try to bring [it] out from the dark,” Hanzman said.

‘This Was a Process I Had Never Done Before’

Former Palm Beach Circuit Court Judge Peter Blanc’s new firm is among those taking the lead, as he presided over a high-profile voluntary dispute resolution case.

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