Rule 28A. Appellate Mediation Office

(a) Appellate Mediation Office; Purpose of Mediation Conference. The court may direct the attorneys for the parties and the parties to appear before a mediator appointed by the court for a mediation conference to explore the possibility of settlement and such other matters as may aid in the efficient management and disposition of the case.

(b) Case referral. When a case is referred to the Appellate Mediation Office, the clerk of the appellate court shall forthwith forward to the Appellate Mediation Office all filings in the case. The court will advise the parties by order that the case has been referred to the Appellate Mediation Office. All decisions regarding conduct of the mediation conference shall be within the sole discretion of the mediator appointed by the court.

(c) Transmittal of record on appeal. The record will be transmitted by the clerk of the trial court to the clerk of the appellate court upon request. Following the mediation conference, the record will be returned to the clerk of the trial court.

(d) Participation of Counsel and Parties. Upon receipt of the order referred to in section (b), participation by counsel and clients in the mediation process or related discussions shall be mandatory.

(e) Confidentiality. Unless contained in a written settlement agreement as contemplated under section (i), statements and comments made during mediation conferences and in related discussions, and any record of those statements, are confidential and shall not be disclosed by anyone (including the appellate mediation office, counsel, or the parties; and their agents or employees) to anyone not participating in the mediation process. Proceedings under this rule may not be recorded by counsel or the parties. Pursuant to Utah Code Ann. 78-2a-6, the records of the Appellate Mediation Office are protected as defined by Utah Code Ann. 63-2-304 and may be disclosed only as provided by Utah Code Ann. 63-2-202. Mediators shall not be called as witnesses, and the information and records of the Appellate Mediation Office shall not be disclosed to judges, staff, or employees of any court.

(f) Continuances. Mediation conferences will not be rescheduled or continued absent good cause as determined by the mediator appointed by the court.

(g) Extensions/Tolling. The time for filing briefs, motions for summary disposition or other appellate proceedings is not automatically tolled pending a mediation conference. In cases in which a mediation conference has been scheduled, counsel may seek an extension by motion or stipulation as provided in Rule 22, Utah Rules of Appellate Procedure.

(h) Request for Mediation Conference by a Party. Counsel may request a mediation conference either by motion, letter or confidential request. The Chief Appellate Mediator shall determine whether a mediation conference will be conducted. The decision of the Chief Appellate Mediator is final and not subject to further review. If a mediation conference is scheduled, the mediation shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions in this rule.

(i) Settlement/Termination. In appeals settled in whole or in part pursuant to this rule, the court will enter an appropriate order upon written stipulation of all parties, or in the case of voluntary dismissal by the appellant pursuant to these rules, and send notice of the order to the parties. In appeals not settled and terminated from mediation, the court shall enter an appropriate order and send notice of the order to the parties. A motion to enforce a settlement agreement will be considered only if the alleged agreement is in writing. The motion and related documents shall be filed under seal.

(j) Sanctions. The court may impose sanctions, including costs, fees or dismissal, for the failure of counsel or a party to comply with the provisions of this rule or with orders entered pursuant to this rule.