Christopher Pole

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Christopher Pole was born and raised in Broward County. He attended Florida State University from 1968 thru 1971 and then transferred to the Medical College of Georgia where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy in 1973. Mr. Pole worked as a Registered Physical Therapist in the Broward County area from 1973 through 1984.

Mr. Pole attended law school at Nova University Center for the Study of Law and graduated in 1980. His extensive trial experience began as a Broward County Assistant State Attorney. He held several positions including DUI supervisor for, supervisor of felony divisions and as a prosecutor in the Narcotics and Drug Trafficking Division.

In 1985 Mr. Pole expanded his trial experience into the civil area when he took a position as an associate with in-house counsel for AIG Insurance Company and then with Conroy, Simberg & Lewis, P.A. In 1988 Mr. Pole opened a private office specializing in personal injury law, PIP law, civil commitment defense as well as criminal law.

In 2012 he was appointed to the position of Broward County Court Judge. During his tenure, Mr. Pole presided over both civil and criminal divisions as a county court judge. He retired from the bench in late 2020 and joined Mediar, Inc.

Mr. Pole was a Certified Criminal Trial Lawyer by the Florida Bar from 1993 through 2019 and has previously taught as an adjunct professor of law at Nova University Center for the Study of Law. He has been a member of the Florida Bar since 1981, the United States District Court, Southern and Middle Districts of Florida since 1983 and a member of the Colorado Bar since 1988. He is also a member of the Broward County Bar Association and […]

Arlene Simon Backman

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Arlene Simon Backman’s skills as a mediator, arbitrator and trial resolution judge are predicated on a solid medical and legal background.  She graduated Cum Laude from Downstate Medical Center of Nursing  (SUNY) in Brooklyn, New York with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing in 1980.

She entered the practice of nursing as a pediatric nurse at St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Florida and also was an Associate Professor of Nursing at Barry University. Thereafter, she acquired a Master of Science in Nursing Administration and Education from Barry University in Miami, Florida, again graduating Cum Laude.

She decided to combine her love of nursing with her passion for the law by entering the Shepard Broad School of Law in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where she graduated in 1993. Her legal career was both in the private and public sector She served as Assistant General Counsel for the Department of Juvenile Justice for 9 years. In the private sector she practiced in both the State and Federal Courts, handling insurance claims, personal injury, medical malpractice and PIP cases, in addition to reviewing medical charts and physician performance assessments and evaluations for compliance with State and Federal Medicare, HCFA and Statutory Compliance.

In 2007 she became a Broward County Court Judge and served for over 10 years in both the Civil and Criminal Divisions. She retired and joined Mediar, Inc. in 2018.

She is a Florida Supreme Court Certified County Court Mediator and a Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Mediator, as well as a Qualified Arbitrator and Trial Resolution Judge.

Eric S. Dawson, Esq.

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Eric S. Dawson is a Florida State Supreme Court Certified Mediator in the following areas: County Court; Circuit Civil; Family; and Appellate. In an effort to successfully mediate a matter, Mr. Dawson is adept at employing various mediation techniques, such as informality, confidentiality, collaboration, and self­ determination of the party participants during the course of a mediation.

A member of the Florida Bar since 2001, Mr. Dawson has substantial legal experience as a former prosecutor, civil trial attorney, and in-house counsel. Mr. Dawson’s background as an attorney provides him not only with exceptional integrity and ethics but also with a unique ability to understand liability and risk management issues facing individuals, companies, and organizations.

Mr. Dawson’s post-collegiate/pre-law background, when Mr. Dawson lived and worked in Northern Europe for several years, means that Mr. Dawson has superior communication and interpersonal skills. Such unique experiences also mean that Mr. Dawson is well-versed at orchestrating a productive dialogue among many diverse types of party participants at a mediation.

When combined, these various traits often lead to the successful resolution at mediation of current legal matters, avoidance of further legal fees and costs, ending a loss of time and productivity due to on-going litigation, and minimizing the risk of potentially adverse publicity for the mediation’s party participants.

Joshua Entin

Joshua Entin is an AV Rated Martindale-Hubble attorney who brings a strong academic record and a wealth of trial experience to Mediar. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from St. Thomas University School of Law and for almost 20 years has focused his litigation skills on complex civil matters in Federal and state court.

Now a Florida Supreme Court Certified Civil Circuit Mediator, he will bring his vast experience to facilitate resolution of a wide variety of complex civil cases including employment discrimination, Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, civil rights, wage and hour disputes, class and collective actions, all commercial matters and personal injury cases.

Joel T. Lazarus

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Joel T. Lazarus has a distinguished legal career spanning over 41 years. A native of Massachusetts, he graduated from Babson College and then received his Masters in Business Administration from Columbia University.  He graduated from Nova Southeastern Law School with High Honors in 1977. After 16 years with the Broward County State’s Attorney’s Office he was appointed to the Broward County Court where he served with distinction for over 25 years. He presided over more than 900 jury trials. His accomplishments include receipt of the prestigious Ford Award as the Outstanding County Court Judge in Florida in 2010. He is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Mediator, Florida Supreme Court Certified County Court Mediator, and a Qualified Arbitrator.

Rose-Ann Flynn

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Rose-Ann Flynn is a Florida Supreme Certified Circuit Civil Mediator (1993), Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator (2003) and a Florida Supreme Court Certified Appellate Mediator (2011), as well as a Qualified Arbitrator (1993). She graduated from Nova  Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center (J.D. 1985) and got her Undergraduate degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook (BA 1981). She also has an Associate in Applied Science in Nursing and is a Registered Nurse. Private practice has included all types of civil litigation, including personal injury/wrongful death, medical malpractice, nursing home, products liability, commercial litigation and insurance defense. She serves as Special Magistrate for the City of Ft. Lauderdale Code Enforcement.

Oscar J. Franco

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Oscar J. Franco has a culturally diverse background as well as post graduate degrees obtained in Venezuela, Brazil and the United States. He received his law degree from Santa Maria University in Caracas, Venezuela where he practiced family and civil litigation for 20 years. In addition, he has a degree in veterinary medicine from Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and a Masters of Science from the University of California, Davis. For the last 18 years he has focused his diverse talents on resolution of complex, culturally diverse issues as a Florida Supreme Court Certified County Mediator, Circuit Civil Mediator and Family Mediator. He is available to mediate in all of these areas and he is fully fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

Gerald Mager

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Gerald Mager has over 50 years of combined legal and judicial experience beginning as Assistant Attorney General of the State of Florida, followed by service as General Counsel to the Governor of Florida, Chief Judge of the 4th District Court of Appeal as well as Senior Judge and a Martindale-Hubbel® AV® rated civil trial lawyer. Over the last 20 years he has been engaged full time as a mediator and arbitrator, participating in over 5,000 cases ranging from probate and estate disputes, a wide variety of commercial, business, corporate and banking cases, professional malpractice, products liability, personal injury and wrongful death cases to zoning and land use, intellectual property, bankruptcy, securities law, whistleblower cases as well as a number of civil rights cases such as ADA, etc. He is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Mediator, Florida Supreme Court Certified Appellate Mediator and Qualified Arbitrator.

Mary H. McCleary


Mary H. McCleary received her BA from Florida Atlantic University in 1971 and an MBA in 1975. She received her J.D. from Nova University in 1978 and has pursued a diverse legal career including both Civil and Criminal cases. Mary served “Of Counsel” to the AV rated firm of Bogenschutz, Dutko and Kroll from 1994 to 2010 and previously worked as both an Assistant State Attorney and an Assistant Public Defender. She is an active member of the Florida Academy of Professional Mediators and is both a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator and a Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Mediator. Se habla Español.

Richard Phillips


With more than 40 years of practice and over a thousand cases litigated, Richard H. Phillips, Esq. has the experience and the diplomacy you need to get any dispute rapidly and fairly resolved. Mr. Phillips has represented clients across the corporate spectrum from Fortune 500 companies to sole proprietors, as well as students, families, and nonprofit organizations. For over 25 years he specialized in insurance subrogation. Advocating for this diverse clientele gives him a unique perspective into the conflict mechanisms at work in most legal disputes. As a result, Richard’s services as a mediator are in high demand. His areas of expertise include: Personal injury, family disputes, commercial litigation, insurance disputes and, of course, insurance subrogation. He is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Mediator, Florida Supreme Court Certified County Court Mediator, and a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator.

H. Mark Purdy

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214 SE 13th Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
954-467-1276 – 954-914-9443 (cell)

H. Mark Purdy is a Martindale-Hubbell AV ® PreeminentTM Rated Lawyer with 51 years of combined Litigation, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and Judicial experience. His extensive civil litigation experience is now exclusively focused on serving as Mediator, Arbitrator, and Trial Resolution Judge.



Univ. of So. Mississippi, 1967, B.S. (History & Political Science -double major)
Florida State University College of Law, 1970, J.D.


Florida (1970); Hawaii (1992)


1970-1979, 1986-2021: Private practice of law in Fort Lauderdale, Fl. 1992-2021, Partner in Purdy & Flynn, P.A.


1979-1981: County Court Judge for Broward County, Florida.
1981-1985: Circuit Judge, 17th Judicial Circuit in and for Broward County, Florida.
2007-Present: Code Enforcement, Special Magistrate for City of Fort Lauderdale
2020-Present: Code Compliance Magistrate for City of Margate


Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Mediator – (1990); Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator,(1993); Certified Mediator, United States District Court, Southern District of Florida (1993); Florida Supreme Court Certified Appellate Mediator (2011); Qualified Arbitrator (1993). Trained in the mediation of residential mortgage foreclosures (2010).


The depth and breadth of his civil litigation provide a solid foundation to assist in resolving a wide range of civil cases, including dissolution of marriage, personal injury and wrongful death, products liability, all commercial, business, and contract disputes, collection of debts, condominium and HOA disputes, insurance issues (including PIP, coverage and bad-faith disputes), governmental disputes, civil rights, professional liability (including medical and legal malpractice) and construction defects litigation.


Robert S. Zack


Robert S. Zack retired from the Broward County Court Bench after 22 years of service. Prior to taking the Bench he was a trial attorney for 20 years and specialized in civil litigation including automobile negligence, premises liability, product liability, medical malpractice, contract disputes and family law. He received his bachelor’s degree from Boston University and his J.D. from Wayne State University in Michigan. Since retiring from the Bench, he has mediated cases in areas of personal injury, contract and labor disputes, collections, foreclosures, and PIP suits. He is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Mediator, Florida Supreme Court Certified County Court Mediator, Qualified Arbitrator, FINRA Dispute Resolution Arbitrator and licensed Florida Realtor.