Message from SCMA 2012 President Barbara Brown, Esq.
Dear Colleagues –
Here it is March already! And the rest of the year promises to be most interesting for our field.
One issue you will want to be on top of is the introduction of AB 2025 in the California State Assembly. Under existing law, nothing said in the course of a mediation is admissible in evidence or subject to discovery in another action or proceeding. This confidentiality applies as well to communications between a client and his attorney. This means, as articulated by the California Supreme Court in Cassel v. Superior Court, 51 Cal 4th 113 (2011), that if a client wants to sue his attorney over something that happens during the course of the mediation – claiming, for example, that the attorney misadvised or pressured him – he could not prove his case by testifying about what happened at the mediation.
Legislation has now been introduced in the California Assembly which would abrogate the holding of the Cassel case and say that mediation confidentiality would not apply when a client sues his attorney over something that happens during the mediation. The ramifications of this legislation are potentially enormous. See the article on AB 2025 by clicking here, and links to arguments on both sides of the issue. You can also join the conversation already underway on LinkedIn under Groups, Southern California Mediation Association.
If you are on any of the Los Angeles Superior Court’s mediation panels, don’t forget to renew your application. The deadline for renewal has been extended to June 30, 2012. See the article on Re-Application at this link.
Here’s to Spring!