Academy Member Inducted 2005

Map & Directions
Michael D. Smith Esq., Mediator & Arbitrator, Pensacola, Florida.

Michael D. Smith Esq.

Diplomate member
Michael D. Smith Mediated Settlements
P. O. Box 6477
Pensacola, FL 32503
Tel: (850) 432-9850
Cell: (850) 516-5343
Send Email
Recognized to Florida Chapter for Mediation & Arbitration

Regularly travels out of state to: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina

Video Conferencing
  • Practice Commenced1992
  • # of MEDS (as of 12/7/24)8000
  • # of ARBS (as of 12/7/24)100
Current Practice
Online / In-Person



MIKE'S PHILOSOPHY OF THE MEDIATION PROCESS:  As a neutral helper for all parties, my job is to provide everyone with the best environment, the best opportunity, and the best chance to reach a settlement IF that is what the parties decide they want to do. I promise to never force, coerce, trick, or fool anyone into reaching a settlement. While seeking to sincerely understand and appreciate the parties' positions and interests, my goal is to help equip each and every decision maker with whatever information he or she needs to make a wise, well informed decision regarding whether to settle OR to risk continuing the controversy/litigation which could result in an adverse ruling or verdict. If provided with a good understanding of risk, most people prefer to avoid it by finding peace through compromise and resolution.

IT'S IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THE ROLE OF THE MEDIATOR: I am a promoter and a defender of the mediation process. I may not get a vote, but I will do my best to help everyone get very well equipped to make good decisions. I'm the point guard who will give the parties and their lawyers plenty of assists, but it's ultimately up to the parties to make the shot if they want to score a resolution."
EXPERIENCE: Mike is one of the most experienced mediators in the United States. He has been a certified mediator for 31 of the 43 years he has practiced law, mediating approximately 250 to 300 disputes per year. He has mediated more than 8,000 cases to date. In 2005, Mike left his law firm and purchased and renovated a 100 year old Victorian office, which easily accommodates multi-party mediations. During the first 25 years of his practice, Mike was a member of two outstanding law firms, Harrell, Wiltshire, Stone and Swearingen and Wilson, Harrell and Smith. Prior to becoming a mediator, he was a personal injury, wrongful death, employment discrimination, and commercial litigator, who realized the value of negotiated settlements in the early days of Florida mediations. Shortly after becoming certified, his mediation practice grew so much that he no longer had time to litigate. Mike says that it was like grass taking over a yard full of weeds!

CIRCUIT COURT MEDIATOR:  Certified by Florida Supreme Court since 1992; Charter/Diplomate member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals; Florida Academy of Professional Mediators; lecturer on mediation at seminars and meetings for lawyers and laymen; mediated over 8,000 disputes; appointed and approved by the Florida Department of Insurance to mediate claims resulting from 1995 Hurricanes Erin and Opal; mediated approximately 1,000 hurricane (Sally, Michael, Ivan, Dennis, Georges, Danny, Opal, Erin) cases; mediated over 400 construction cases; mediated approximately 500 employment discrimination cases; mediated over 500 professional malpractice (medical, architectural, legal, accounting, insurance, real estate) cases; co-founder of SEBIRG (South Eastern Breast Implant Resolution Group); mediated over 300 breast implant cases; mediated over 500 nursing home cases; mediated over 500 product liability cases; mediated over 750 death cases and over 4,000 personal injury cases. Extensive Experience - throughout Florida (including Pensacola, Ft. Walton Beach, Destin, Crestview, Panama City, Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando, West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami) and Southeastern United States (GA, AL, MS, LA, TN, NC, SC) mediating personal injury, wrongful death, Hurricane, mass tort products liability (breast implant, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, motor vehicles, asbestos, Chinese Dry Wall, etc.), professional malpractice, employment discrimination, nursing home, civil rights, law enforcement, negligent security, real estate, eminent domain, family, contract, construction, commercial, property damage, insurance, admiralty and probate disputes.

WHEN HE ISN'T MEDIATING: Mike enjoys family, church, community, golf, boating, barefoot (yes, even in my 60’s) water skiing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, hiking, Labrador Retrievers, Wake Forest football and basketball and other sports activities. He has served as President of several community organizations, including Pensacola Sports Association, Leadership Pensacola, Greater Pensacola Touchdown Club and Five Flags Sertoma Club. He also chaired the 1998 United States Open Waterski and Wakeboard Championships and over 100 golf tournaments.

Case Experience

  • ADA Disability
  • Admiralty
  • Anti-Trust
  • Appellate
  • Automotive
  • Aviation
  • Banking & Finance
  • Business Dissolution
  • Civil Rights
  • Class Actions
  • Commercial/Business
  • Condominiums
  • Construction
  • Contract Disputes
  • Debt Collections
  • Discrimination
  • Elder Abuse
  • Eminent Domain
  • Employment
  • Environmental
  • Family Businesses
  • Health Care
  • Insurance
  • Landlord/Tenant
  • Legal Malpractice
  • Medical Devices
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Mortgage Foreclosure
  • Natural Disasters
  • Nursing Homes
  • Partnerships
  • Personal Injury
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Premises Liability
  • Probate
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Fees
  • Professional Liability
  • Professional Malpractice
  • Professional Negligence
  • Property Damage
  • Railroad & Trucking
  • Real Estate
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Title Disputes
  • Torts
  • Trusts / Estates
  • Wrongful Death


  • 1973 Graduate of Escambia High School, Pensacola, Florida
  • 1977 B.S. Business, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • 1980 J.D., Wake Forest School of Law, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • Attended Advanced Training Conferences of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals and the Florida Circuit Civil Mediator Society, in Orlando, Amelia Island, Boston, Denver, Toronto, and Atlanta.

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Florida Bar - member since 1980
  • Florida Academy of Professional Mediators
  • Florida Circuit Civil Mediator Society - Charter Member
  • National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals - Charter Member; Diplomate Member
  • Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar Association - member since 1980; Law Day Committee Chairman 1983; Law Day Golf Tournament Chairman since 1985; Executive Committee Member 1985-1986; Young Lawyers Section President 1990; Bar Association Secretary 1993-1994; Lawyer/Doctor Golf Outing Chairman since 1997
  • American Bar Association - member since 1980
  • Federal Bar - Admitted to United States Supreme Court, United States Courts of Appeal for the Fifth and Eleventh Circuits, and United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida
  • Martindale-Hubbell - "AV" Rating

Rates Information

$195.00 per party per hour; 4 hour minimum charge; 3 party maximum charge.

Academy Members Only