Thomas H. Bateman III
Messer Caparello P.A.
2618 Centenial Place
PO Box 15579
Tallahassee, FL 32308

Tel: (850) 201-5221
Fax: (850) 558-0674

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Calendar Last Updated: 25 May 17


Click your preferred date to send our office a Date Request form.

All such requests will go immediately to
Tom Bateman's scheduling staff
(Tanya Weiss,


ADR Services:
Mediation (Circuit-Civil)
Mediation (Federal)
Mediation (Family)
Arbitration (Civil/Commercial)
Arbitration (Construction)
Arbitration (Labor)
Neutral Evaluation
Fact Finding
Voluntary Trial Res. Judge
Special Magistrate
Insurance Umpire


FL Certification Qualifications:
Federal Mediator
County Court Mediator
Circuit-Civil Mediator
Fl. Supreme Court Qualified Arbitrator
Certified Appellate Mediator

Serving the following Judicial Circuits:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20

[ Click for Map of Florida's Civil Circuits ]

Thomas H. Bateman III has experience in settling the following types of case:
ADA Disability
Banking & Finance
Business Dissolution
Civil Rights
Community Associations
Consumer Fraud
Contract Disputes
Cross Cultural
Debt Collections
Divorce (High Asset)
Elder Abuse
Eminent Domain
Energy Sector (Oil, Gas)
Family Businesses
Health Care
Intellectual Property
Land Use/Planning
Legal Malpractice
Lemon Law
Libel & Slander
Local Govt./Municipalities
Media & Communications
Medical Devices
Medical Malpractice
Mortgage Foreclosure
Natural Disasters
Non-profit Organizations
Nursing Homes
Pensions / ERISA
Personal Injury
Premises Liability
Product Liability
Professional Fees
Professional Liability
Professional Malpractice
Professional Negligence
Property Damage
Public Policy
Railroad & Trucking
Real Estate
Religious Institutions
Sexual Harassment
Shareholder Disputes
Title Disputes
Trusts / Estates
Unfair Competition
Wage & Hour/FMLA
Wrongful Death

Thomas H. Bateman III has experience in the following areas of areas of Family Law:
Children & School
Common Law/Cohabitation
Divorce (All Issues)
Marital Issues
Mental Health
Parent-Elder Support
Pre-Nuptial Agreements

Biographical Notes:

Since retiring from the circuit court bench in 2009, Tom Bateman has been serving as a full-time Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediator and Qualified Arbitrator. An attorney member of The Florida Bar for over 33 years, 19 of which serving as a Florida State Court System trial judge, Tom has trial as well as mediation and arbitration experience in all manner of disputes. They range from employment and workplace disputes, personal injury, medical malpractice, complex commercial transactions, insurance coverage, receivership, non-compete agreement disputes, doctor-hospital employment disputes, public body sovereign immunity, contract interpretation and declaratory judgment disputes, road and building construction disputes, civil rights, patent and trademark infringement cases to non-child custody family law disputes, as well as residential and commercial foreclosure and other real property disputes including title, eminent domain and inverse condemnation disputes.

From January 1990 to January 2009, Mr. Bateman served as a Leon County Judge and Florida 2nd Judicial Circuit Judge before retiring after 35 years of public service as a deputy sheriff, assistant public defender, assistant attorney general, state agency general counsel and Florida trial judge. As an attorney, Mr. Bateman's practice focused on civil and criminal trial litigation and appeals, and he has appeared in every level of the state and federal trial and appellate courts. From 1987 to 1990, Mr. Bateman served as General Counsel to the Florida Department of Transportation, the 4th largest transportation agency in the United States with 67 lawyers in 9 offices throughout the State of Florida.

Specializing in complex state and federal civil trial court and state appellate court mediation, arbitration, as well as pre-suit negotiation and mediation, Mr. Bateman was a long-serving member of the Florida Supreme Court's Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules and Policy Committee terming off on June 30, 2015, and a former member of the Mediator Qualifications Board, the discipline arm of the Florida Supreme Court as it relates to mediators. He served as a member and chairman of the MQB's Northern Division. He chaired the Florida Supreme Court's Task Force on the Management of Litigation in Complex Cases and served as the chairman of the Florida Supreme Court's Work Group on Jury Management Issues.

Tom is a member of the Executive Council of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section of The Florida Bar and was the 2013-14 Chair of The Florida Bar's Civil Procedure Rules Committee, which encompasses rules of court procedure relating to mediation and arbitration. Before terming off the Rules Committee on June 30, 2105 he chaired several subcommittees including the Internal Operating Procedures Subcommittee, the Uniform Time Standards Subcommittee and the Rule 1.442 Proposals for Settlement Subcommittee of the Civil Procedure Rules Committee.

Mr. Bateman has been appointed or elected to serve as the Chair or member of numerous Florida Supreme Court committees and task forces as well as Florida Bar Committees including the Professional Ethics Committee, the Rules of Judicial Administration Committee, three court procedure rules committees as well as Chair of the Government Lawyers Section of The Florida Bar.


  • George Mason University School of Law, J.D., 1981
  • Nova University, B.S., 1977



Memberships & Affiliations :

  • National Association of Distinguished Neutrals (NADN)
  • Florida Circuit-Civil Mediator Society
  • Consumer RV (Recreational Vehicles) Arbitration Program Mediator/Arbitrator Panel
  • American Bar Association (ABA)
  • ABA Dispute Resolution Section
  • Middle District of Florida Mediator Panel
  • Northern District of Florida
  • Florida 5th District Court of Appeal Appellate Mediator Panel
  • The Florida Bar
  • The Florida Bar Administrative Law Section
  • The Florida Bar Alternative Dispute Resolution Section
  • The Florida Bar Criminal Law Section
  • The Florida Bar Government Lawyers Section
  • The Florida Bar Trial Lawyers Section
  • Florida Women Lawyers Association (FAWL)
  • Tallahassee Bar Association (TBA)
  • Tallahassee Women Lawyers (TWL)


Rates: MEDIATION, SPECIAL MAGISTRATE, SPECIAL MASTER and UMPIRE Hourly rate starts at $350.00/hour (for 2 - 4 parties) (Rate varies depending on number of additional parties involved); Two (2) hour minimum; Four (4) hour minimum if travel outside 2nd or 14th Judicial Circuits required; Deposit: Two (2) hour or four (4) minimum 50% from each party paid in advance to hold date on calendar; all payments will be credited to Final Invoice. No additional charge for travel in 2nd or 14th Judicial Circuits; current IRS mileage rate elsewhere. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ARBITRATION: Pre- & Post-Hearing Hourly Rate: $350.00/hour; Half-day (<4 hours) Hearing Rate: $1,400.00/half-day; Full-day (4 - 8 hours) Hearing Rate: $2800.00/full-day Lodging and Travel: actual expense; current IRS mileage rate if travel outside 2nd Judicial Circuit required.

Payment: Each party's attorney, if any, is responsible for timely payment for the client/party's portion of fees regardless of the attorney and the client’s fee arrangements. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ The full amount of fees is due upon receipt of invoice: MEDIATION - at the conclusion of the mediation session. ARBITRATION, SPECIAL MAGISTRATE, SPECIAL MASTER and UMPIRE - at end of each calendar quarter unless other payment arrangements are made ahead of time. All payments will be itemized and credited to Final Invoice.

Cancellation Policy: MEDIATION, SPECIAL MAGISTRATE, SPECIAL MASTER and UMPIRE: Two (2) hour minimum for canceled emergency-set mediations or if cancelled less than 14 days from scheduled start date. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ARBITRATION: One (1) full-day if canceled less than 30 days from scheduled hearing start date.

Florida Circuit-Civil Member Roster  ::  Legal Notice  ::  FCCMS is the Florida Chapter of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals