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5 AN ACT RELATING TO THE JUDICIARY; CREATING A SETTLEMENT AND
6 MEDIATION PROGRAM FOR MATTERS ON APPEAL BEFORE THE COURT OF
7 APPEALS; PROVIDING THE PURPOSE OF THE PROGRAM; PROVIDING
8 QUALIFICATIONS AND DUTIES OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR; PROVIDING FOR
9 CONFIDENTIALITY TO APPLY TO THESE PROCEEDINGS; PROVIDING
10 GOVERNMENTAL IMMUNITY FROM ANY LIABILITY TO THE EXECUTIVE
11 DIRECTOR AND OTHER PROFESSIONAL STAFF WHEN ACTING AS MEDIATORS;
12 AND APPROPRIATING $165,961 FROM THE GENERAL FUND TO THE
13 ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE COURTS FOR FISCAL YEAR 1997-98.
14 This act affects sections of Utah Code Annotated 1953 as follows:
16 78-2a-6, Utah Code Annotated 1953
17 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
18 Section 1. Section 78-2a-6 is enacted to read:
19 78-2a-6. Settlement and Mediation Program -- Purpose -- Duties -- Presiding judge
20 -- Executive director -- Protected records and information -- Government immunity.
21 (1) There is established a settlement and mediation program in the Utah Court of Appeals
22 beginning July 1, 1997, for matters on appeal before the court on or after July 1, 1997.
23 (2) The Supreme Court shall implement the program as provided by the adoption of Rules
24 of Appellate Procedure as the court considers proper.
25 (3) (a) The primary purpose of the settlement and mediation program shall be to assist the
26 parties to an appeal pending before the Court of Appeals to resolve the dispute in a mutually
27 acceptable, just, efficient, and cost-effective manner.
1 (b) In the absence of complete resolution of the dispute, the secondary purpose of the
2 settlement and mediation program shall be to narrow the issues on appeal, to resolve matters
3 partially, and to conserve judicial resources.
4 (4) (a) All parties shall participate in this program, subject to the availability of time and
5 resources at the Court of Appeals.
6 (b) If settlement and mediation matters appear reasonably unlikely to be resolved, the
7 matter shall proceed on appeal as provided by Rules of Appellate Procedure.
8 (c) After the parties have completed the initial interaction with the settlement and
9 mediation program, a decision by a party or parties to participate no further may not result in a
10 penalty or delay the processing of the appeal.
11 (5) The presiding judge of the Court of Appeals shall supervise the settlement and
12 mediation program but not actively participate in any settlements.
13 (6) (a) The executive director of the program shall be:
14 (i) appointed as an exempt employee upon selection by the judges of the Court of Appeals;
16 (ii) selected based upon knowledge of the law, the appellate process, and the rules
17 governing appeals, and skill and knowledge as a mediator.
18 (b) The executive director of the settlement and mediation program shall administer the
19 program and report to the presiding judge at least once annually on the status of the program.
20 (7) The methods of settlement and mediation may include telephonic conferencing and
21 in-person conferencing between counsel.
22 (8) Any matter pending before the Court of Appeals may be eligible for inclusion in the
23 settlement and mediation program. However, the executive director shall consider whether or not
24 the matters have a reasonable likelihood of being settled and the parties exhibit a reasonable
25 willingness to resolve the dispute.
26 (9) Unless a more restrictive rule of court is adopted pursuant to Subsection
27 63-2-201(3)(b), any information and records relating to any matter on appeal received by the
28 executive director or other staff of the settlement and mediation program, as a result of any party's
29 participation or lack of participation in the settlement program, shall be maintained as protected
30 records and information pursuant to Subsection 63-2-202(4), and any information and records shall
31 not be disclosed to judges, other staff, and employees of the Court of Appeals.
1 (10) The executive director may disclose such statistical and other demographic
2 information as may be necessary and useful to report on the status and to provide oversight of the
4 (11) The executive director and other professional staff of the settlement and mediation
5 program shall be immune from any liability when acting as mediators pursuant to Title 63, Chapter
6 30, Utah Governmental Immunity Act.
7 (12) Pursuant to Utah Constitution, Article VIII, Section 4, the Supreme Court shall
8 supervise the proceedings of the settlement and mediation program.
9 Section 2. Appropriation.
10 There is appropriated from the General Fund for fiscal year 1997-98, $165,961 to the
11 Administrative Office of the Courts to cover the costs of implementation and administration of the
12 settlement and mediation program.
Legislative Review Note
as of 1-15-97 4:06 PM
A limited legal review of this bill raises no obvious constitutional or statutory concerns.
Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel
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