Brian T. Gravdal, Esq.
On September 11, 2018, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law SB 954, which amends §1122 of the California Evidence Code and adds §1129. The new law requires attorneys representing clients in connection with mediation to provide written disclosures to their clients about mediation confidentiality.
Some of the highlights include:
- An attorney must provide the disclosures to clients before the client agrees to participate in mediation if the attorney represents the client at the time;
- An attorney must provide the disclosures after being retained if the attorney is retained after the client agrees to participate in mediation;
- The content of the required disclosures is set forth in the statute;
- The format for the disclosures is set forth in the statute (separate page, 12-point font, client’s preferred language);
- The client must sign the disclosure form;
- The law does not provide a specific remedy for failing to comply;
- The law specifically states that the failure to provide the required disclosures will not invalidate an agreement reached at mediation;
- The law does not otherwise change existing laws regarding mediation confidentiality; and
- The law will go into effect January 1, 2019.
The full text of the bill can be found HERE.
A sample Mediation Disclosure Notification and Acknowledgment is available HERE.