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.

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.

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.