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S.B. 61 Enrolled





Chief Sponsor: Lyle W. Hillyard

House Sponsor: Lorie D. Fowlke

             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This bill enacts the Utah Uniform Mediation Act.
             10      Highlighted Provisions:
             11          This bill:
             12          .    enacts the Utah Uniform Mediation Act;
             13          .    provides definitions;
             14          .    applies to most mediations;
             15          .    sets waiver provisions for privileges and communications within mediation;
             16          .    states mediation information is confidential and not admissible in court, and
             17      specifies exceptions; and
             18          .    provides for mediator's disclosure of conflicts of interest.
             19      Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
             20          None
             21      Other Special Clauses:
             22          None
             23      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             24      ENACTS:
             25          78-31c-101, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             26          78-31c-102, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             27          78-31c-103, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             28          78-31c-104, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             29          78-31c-105, Utah Code Annotated 1953

             30          78-31c-106, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             31          78-31c-107, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             32          78-31c-108, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             33          78-31c-109, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             34          78-31c-110, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             35          78-31c-111, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             36          78-31c-112, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             37          78-31c-113, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             38          78-31c-114, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             40      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             41          Section 1. Section 78-31c-101 is enacted to read:

             43          78-31c-101. Title.
             44          This chapter is known as the "Utah Uniform Mediation Act."
             45          Section 2. Section 78-31c-102 is enacted to read:
             46          78-31c-102. Definitions.
             47          As used in this chapter:
             48          (1) "Mediation" means a process in which a mediator facilitates communication and
             49      negotiation between parties to assist them in reaching a voluntary agreement regarding their
             50      dispute.
             51          (2) "Mediation communication" means conduct or a statement, whether oral, in a
             52      record, verbal, or nonverbal, that occurs during a mediation or is made for purposes of
             53      considering, conducting, participating in, initiating, continuing, or reconvening a mediation or
             54      retaining a mediator.
             55          (3) "Mediation party" means a person that participates in a mediation and whose
             56      agreement is necessary to resolve the dispute.
             57          (4) "Mediator" means an individual who is neutral and conducts a mediation.

             58          (5) "Nonparty participant" means a person, other than a party or mediator, that
             59      participates in a mediation.
             60          (6) "Person" means an individual, corporation, estate, trust, business trust, partnership,
             61      limited liability company, association, joint venture, government, governmental subdivision,
             62      agency, or instrumentality, public corporation, or any other legal or commercial entity.
             63          (7) "Proceeding" means:
             64          (a) a judicial, administrative, arbitral, or other adjudicative process, including related
             65      prehearing and posthearing motions, conferences, and discovery; or
             66          (b) a legislative hearing or similar process.
             67          (8) "Record" means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored
             68      in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form.
             69          (9) "Sign" means:
             70          (a) to execute or adopt a tangible symbol with the present intent to authenticate a
             71      record; or
             72          (b) to attach or logically associate an electronic symbol, sound, or process to or with a
             73      record with the present intent to authenticate a record.
             74          Section 3. Section 78-31c-103 is enacted to read:
             75          78-31c-103. Scope.
             76          (1) Except as otherwise provided in Subsection (2) or (3), this chapter applies to a
             77      mediation in which:
             78          (a) the mediation parties are required to mediate by statute, court, or administrative
             79      agency rule or referred to mediation by a court, administrative agency, or arbitrator;
             80          (b) the mediation parties and the mediator agree to mediate in a record that
             81      demonstrates an expectation that mediation communications will be privileged against
             82      disclosure; or
             83          (c) the mediation parties use as a mediator an individual who holds himself or herself
             84      out as a mediator or the mediation is provided by an entity that holds itself out as providing
             85      mediation.

             86          (2) The chapter does not apply to a mediation:
             87          (a) relating to the establishment, negotiation, administration, or termination of a
             88      collective bargaining relationship;
             89          (b) relating to a dispute that is pending under or is part of the processes established by
             90      a collective bargaining agreement, except that the chapter applies to a mediation arising out of
             91      a dispute that has been filed with an administrative agency or court;
             92          (c) conducted by a judge who might make a ruling on the case; or
             93          (d) conducted under the auspices of:
             94          (i) a primary or secondary school if all the parties are students; or
             95          (ii) a correctional institution for youths if all the parties are residents of that institution.
             96          (3) If the parties agree in advance in a signed record, or a record of proceeding reflects
             97      agreement by the parties, that all or part of a mediation is not privileged, the privileges under
             98      Sections 78-31c-104 through 78-31c-106 do not apply to the mediation or part agreed upon.
             99      However, Sections 78-31c-104 through 78-31c-106 apply to a mediation communication made
             100      by a person that has not received actual notice of the agreement before the communication is
             101      made.
             102          Section 4. Section 78-31c-104 is enacted to read:
             103          78-31c-104. Privilege against disclosure -- Admissibility -- Discovery.
             104          (1) Except as otherwise provided in Section 78-31c-106 , a mediation communication is
             105      privileged as provided in Subsection (2) and is not subject to discovery or admissible in
             106      evidence in a proceeding unless waived or precluded as provided by Section 78-31c-105 .
             107          (2) In a proceeding, the following privileges apply:
             108          (a) A mediation party may refuse to disclose, and may prevent any other person from
             109      disclosing, a mediation communication.
             110          (b) A mediator may refuse to disclose a mediation communication, and may prevent
             111      any other person from disclosing a mediation communication of the mediator.
             112          (c) A nonparty participant may refuse to disclose, and may prevent any other person
             113      from disclosing, a mediation communication of the nonparty participant.

             114          (3) Evidence or information that is otherwise admissible or subject to discovery does
             115      not become inadmissible or protected from discovery solely by reason of its disclosure or use in
             116      a mediation.
             117          Section 5. Section 78-31c-105 is enacted to read:
             118          78-31c-105. Waiver and preclusion of privilege.
             119          (1) A privilege under Section 78-31c-104 may be waived in a record or orally during a
             120      proceeding if it is expressly waived by all parties to the mediation, and:
             121          (a) in the case of the privilege of a mediator, it is expressly waived by the mediator;
             122      and
             123          (b) in the case of the privilege of a nonparty participant, it is expressly waived by the
             124      nonparty participant.
             125          (2) A person that discloses or makes a representation about a mediation
             126      communication which prejudices another person in a proceeding is precluded from asserting a
             127      privilege under Section 78-31c-104 , but only to the extent necessary for the person prejudiced
             128      to respond to the representation or disclosure.
             129          (3) A person that intentionally uses a mediation to plan, attempt to commit or commit a
             130      crime, or to conceal an ongoing crime or ongoing criminal activity is precluded from asserting
             131      a privilege under Section 78-31c-104 .
             132          Section 6. Section 78-31c-106 is enacted to read:
             133          78-31c-106. Exceptions to privilege.
             134          (1) There is no privilege under Section 78-31c-104 for a mediation communication that
             135      is:
             136          (a) in an agreement evidenced by a record signed by all parties to the agreement;
             137          (b) available to the public under Title 63, Chapter 2, Government Records Access and
             138      Management Act, or made during a mediation session which is open, or is required by law to
             139      be open, to the public;
             140          (c) a threat or statement of a plan to inflict bodily injury or commit a crime of violence;
             141          (d) intentionally used to plan a crime, attempt to commit or commit a crime, or to

             142      conceal an ongoing crime or ongoing criminal activity;
             143          (e) sought or offered to prove or disprove a claim or complaint of professional
             144      misconduct or malpractice filed against a mediator;
             145          (f) except as otherwise provided in Subsection (3), sought or offered to prove or
             146      disprove a claim or complaint of professional misconduct or malpractice filed against a
             147      mediation party, nonparty participant, or representative of a party based on conduct occurring
             148      during a mediation; or
             149          (g) subject to the reporting requirements in Section 62A-3-305 or 62A-4a-403 .
             150          (2) There is no privilege under Section 78-31c-104 if a court, administrative agency, or
             151      arbitrator finds, after a hearing in camera, that the party seeking discovery or the proponent of
             152      the evidence has shown that:
             153          (a) the evidence is not otherwise available;
             154          (b) there is a need for the evidence that substantially outweighs the interest in
             155      protecting confidentiality; and
             156          (c) the mediation communication is sought or offered in:
             157          (i) a court proceeding involving a felony or misdemeanor; or
             158          (ii) except as otherwise provided in Subsection (3), a proceeding to prove a claim to
             159      rescind or reform or a defense to avoid liability on a contract arising out of the mediation.
             160          (3) A mediator may not be compelled to provide evidence of a mediation
             161      communication referred to in Subsection (1)(f) or (2)(c)(ii).
             162          (4) If a mediation communication is not privileged under Subsection (1) or (2), only
             163      the portion of the communication necessary for the application of the exception from
             164      nondisclosure may be admitted. Admission of evidence under Subsection (1) or (2) does not
             165      render the evidence, or any other mediation communication, discoverable or admissible for any
             166      other purpose.
             167          Section 7. Section 78-31c-107 is enacted to read:
             168          78-31c-107. Prohibited mediator reports.
             169          (1) Except as required in Subsection (2), a mediator may not make a report,

             170      assessment, evaluation, recommendation, finding, or other communication regarding a
             171      mediation to a court, administrative agency, or other authority that may make a ruling on the
             172      dispute that is the subject of the mediation.
             173          (2) A mediator may disclose:
             174          (a) whether the mediation occurred or has terminated, whether a settlement was
             175      reached, and attendance;
             176          (b) a mediation communication as permitted under Section 78-31c-106 ; or
             177          (c) a mediation communication evidencing abuse, neglect, abandonment, or
             178      exploitation of an individual to a public agency responsible for protecting individuals against
             179      such mistreatment.
             180          (3) A communication made in violation of Subsection (1) may not be considered by a
             181      court, administrative agency, or arbitrator.
             182          Section 8. Section 78-31c-108 is enacted to read:
             183          78-31c-108. Confidentiality.
             184          Unless subject to Title 52, Chapter 4, Open and Public Meetings Act, and Title 63,
             185      Chapter 2, Government Records Access and Management Act, mediation communications are
             186      confidential to the extent agreed by the parties or provided by other law or rule of this state.
             187          Section 9. Section 78-31c-109 is enacted to read:
             188          78-31c-109. Mediator's disclosure of conflicts of interest -- Background.
             189          (1) Before accepting a mediation, an individual who is requested to serve as a mediator
             190      shall:
             191          (a) make an inquiry that is reasonable under the circumstances to determine whether
             192      there are any known facts that a reasonable individual would consider likely to affect the
             193      impartiality of the mediator, including a financial or personal interest in the outcome of the
             194      mediation and an existing or past relationship with a mediation party or foreseeable participant
             195      in the mediation; and
             196          (b) disclose any known fact to the mediation parties as soon as practical before
             197      accepting a mediation.

             198          (2) If a mediator learns any fact described in Subsection (1)(a) after accepting a
             199      mediation, the mediator shall disclose it as soon as practicable.
             200          (3) At the request of a mediation party, an individual who is requested to serve as a
             201      mediator shall disclose the mediator's qualifications to mediate a dispute.
             202          (4) Subsections (1), (2), (3), and (6) do not apply to an individual acting as a judge or
             203      ombudsman.
             204          (5) This chapter does not require that a mediator have a special qualification by
             205      background or profession.
             206          (6) A mediator must be impartial, unless after disclosure of the facts required in
             207      Subsections (1) and (2) to be disclosed, the parties agree otherwise.
             208          Section 10. Section 78-31c-110 is enacted to read:
             209          78-31c-110. Participation in mediation.
             210          An attorney or other individual designated by a party may accompany the party to, and
             211      participate in, a mediation. A waiver of participation given before the mediation may be
             212      rescinded.
             213          Section 11. Section 78-31c-111 is enacted to read:
             214          78-31c-111. International commercial mediation.
             215          (1) In this section:
             216          (a) "International commercial mediation" means an international commercial
             217      conciliation as defined in Article 1 of the Model Law.
             218          (b) "Model Law" means the Model Law on International Commercial Conciliation
             219      adopted by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law on 28 June 2002 and
             220      recommended by the United Nations General Assembly in a resolution (A/RES/57/18) dated
             221      19 November 2002.
             222          (2) Except as otherwise provided in Subsections (3) and (4), if a mediation is an
             223      international commercial mediation, the mediation is governed by the Model Law.
             224          (3) Unless the parties agree in accordance with Subsection 78-31c-103 (3) that all or
             225      part of an international commercial mediation is not privileged, Sections 78-31c-104 through

             226      78-31c-106 and any applicable definitions in Section 78-31c-102 of this chapter apply to the
             227      mediation and nothing in Article 10 of the Model Law derogates from Sections 78-31c-104
             228      through 78-31c-106 .
             229          (4) If the parties to an international commercial mediation agree under Article 1,
             230      Section (7), of the Model Law that the Model Law does not apply, this chapter applies.
             231          Section 12. Section 78-31c-112 is enacted to read:
             232          78-31c-112. Relation to Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce
             233      Act.
             234          This chapter modifies, limits, or supersedes the federal Electronic Signatures in Global
             235      and National Commerce Act, 15 U.S.C. Section 7001 et seq., but does not modify, limit, or
             236      supersede Section 101(c) of that act or authorize electronic delivery of any of the notices
             237      described in Section 103(b) of that act.
             238          Section 13. Section 78-31c-113 is enacted to read:
             239          78-31c-113. Uniformity of application and construction.
             240          In applying and construing this chapter, consideration should be given to the need to
             241      promote uniformity of the law with respect to its subject matter among states that enact it.
             242          Section 14. Section 78-31c-114 is enacted to read:
             243          78-31c-114. Application to existing agreements or referrals.
             244          (1) This chapter governs a mediation pursuant to a referral or an agreement to mediate
             245      made on or after May 1, 2006.
             246          (2) Notwithstanding Subsection (1), on or after May 1, 2007, this chapter governs all
             247      agreements to mediate whenever made.

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