Florida Senate - 2018 SB 1034 By Senator Steube 23-01254-18 20181034__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to mediation; creating s. 44.407, 3 F.S.; requiring that insurance carrier representatives 4 who attend circuit court mediation have specified 5 settlement authority and the ability to immediately 6 consult by specified means with persons having certain 7 additional settlement authority; requiring certain 8 persons to be available to teleconference with the 9 mediator under certain circumstances; providing 10 sanctions for insurance carriers that fail to comply 11 in good faith; creating s. 44.408, F.S.; providing 12 that certain third parties may be compelled to attend 13 mediation in circuit court under certain 14 circumstances; providing that such third parties may 15 not be compelled to pay any portion of the mediator’s 16 fees or costs; requiring that the designated 17 representatives of such third parties have full 18 authority to settle certain amounts or interests or be 19 able to immediately consult by specified means with 20 the person having such authority; requiring that 21 certain persons be available to teleconference with 22 the mediator upon the request of the mediator; 23 providing sanctions for certain third parties who fail 24 to appear; creating s. 44.409, F.S.; limiting the 25 information that may be included in the mediator’s 26 report to the court; providing an effective date. 27 28 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 29 30 Section 1. Section 44.407, Florida Statutes, is created to 31 read: 32 44.407 Insurance carrier representative’s settlement 33 authority at circuit court mediation.— 34 (1) An insurance carrier representative attending a circuit 35 court mediation must have: 36 (a) Full authority to settle up to the amount of the 37 insurance carrier’s reserve on the claims subject to mediation; 38 and 39 (b) The ability to immediately consult during the mediation 40 by electronic or telephonic means with the person having 41 authority to settle above the amount of the insurance carrier’s 42 reserve on the claims subject to mediation, up to the applicable 43 insurance policy limit or the amount of the plaintiff’s last 44 demand, whichever is less. 45 (2) The person or persons consulted by the insurance 46 carrier representative in attendance must be available to 47 teleconference with the mediator at the mediator’s request. 48 (3) An insurance carrier appearing for mediation which does 49 not comply in good faith with this section is subject to 50 sanctions in the same manner as a party that fails to appear 51 with the required settlement authority. 52 Section 2. Section 44.408, Florida Statutes, is created to 53 read: 54 44.408 Compelling interested third parties to attend 55 circuit court mediation.— 56 (1) Upon motion of any party, a court may order a third 57 party to attend a circuit court mediation and participate in 58 good faith in the mediation process if all of the following 59 apply: 60 (a) The third party claims a lien or other asserted 61 interest in the proceeds of any funds that a party may receive 62 as part of a mediated settlement agreement. 63 (b) The presence of the third party can be compelled by 64 service of an order to appear for mediation served in the same 65 manner as service of process according to law. 66 (c) The presence of the third party at the mediation will 67 facilitate the mediation process. 68 (2) A third party ordered to attend a mediation who appears 69 and participates in good faith may not be compelled to pay any 70 portion of the mediator’s fees or costs. 71 (3) The designated representative of a third party ordered 72 to attend a mediation who appears on behalf of the third party 73 must have full authority to settle the amount of the third 74 party’s lien or other asserted interest or have the ability to 75 immediately consult with the person having such authority by 76 electronic or telephonic means during the mediation conference. 77 (4) The person or persons consulted by the third-party 78 representative in attendance must be available to teleconference 79 with the mediator at the mediator’s request. 80 (5) A third party ordered to attend a mediation conference 81 who fails to appear is subject to sanctions in the same manner 82 as a party who fails to appear. 83 Section 3. Section 44.409, Florida Statutes, is created to 84 read: 85 44.409 Mediator’s report.— 86 (1) Except as provided in subsection (2), the mediator’s 87 report to the court may only state one of the following: 88 (a) A complete agreement was reached. 89 (b) A partial agreement was reached. 90 (c) No agreement was reached. 91 (2) If a partial agreement was reached which eliminates 92 claims or parties from the litigation, a list of such claims and 93 parties may be provided, but no additional information may be 94 disclosed. 95 Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2018.