2A:23C-1 Short title.
1.This Act shall be known and may be cited as the "Uniform Mediation Act."
2.Definitions. As used in this act:
"Mediation" means a process in which a mediator facilitates communication and negotiation between parties to assist them in reaching a voluntary agreement regarding their dispute.
"Mediation communication" means a statement, whether verbal or nonverbal or in a record, that occurs during a mediation or is made for purposes of considering, conducting, participating in, initiating, continuing, or reconvening a mediation or retaining a mediator. A mediation communication shall not be deemed to be a public record under P.L.1963, c.73 (C.47:1A-1 et seq.) as amended and supplemented by P.L.2001, c.404 (C.47:1A-5 et seq.).
"Mediator" means an individual who conducts a mediation.
"Nonparty participant" means a person, other than a party or mediator, who participates in a mediation.
"Mediation party" means a person who participates in a mediation and whose agreement is necessary to resolve the dispute.
"Person" means an individual; corporation; business trust; estate; trust; partnership; limited liability company; association; joint venture; government; governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality; public corporation, or any other legal or commercial entity.
"Proceeding" means a judicial, administrative, arbitral, or other adjudicative process, including related pre-hearing and post-hearing motions, conferences, and discovery; or a legislative hearing or similar process.
"Record" means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form.
"Sign" means to execute or adopt a tangible symbol with the present intent to authenticate a record, or to attach or logically associate an electronic symbol, sound, or process to or with a record with the present intent to authenticate a record.
a.Except as otherwise provided in subsection b. or c., this act shall apply to a mediation in which:
(1)the mediation parties are required to mediate by statute, court rule or administrative agency rule, or are referred to mediation by a court, administrative agency, or arbitrator;
(2)the mediation parties and the mediator agree to mediate in a record that demonstrates an expectation that mediation communications will be privileged against disclosure; or
(3)the mediation parties use as a mediator an individual who holds himself out as a mediator, or the mediation is provided by a person who holds itself out as providing mediation.
b.The act shall not apply to a mediation:
(1)relating to the establishment, negotiation, administration, or termination of a collective bargaining relationship or to any mediation conducted by the Public Employment Relations Commission or the State Board of Mediation;
(2)relating to a dispute that is pending under or is part of the processes established by a collective bargaining agreement, except that the act applies to a mediation arising out of a dispute that has been filed with a court or an administrative agency other than the Public Employment Relations Commission or the State Board of Mediation;
(3)conducted by a judge who may make a ruling on the case; or
(4)conducted under the auspices of:
(a)a primary or secondary school if all the parties are students; or
(b)a juvenile detention facility or shelter if all the parties are residents of that facility or shelter.
c.If the parties agree in advance in a signed record, or a record of proceeding so reflects, that all or part of a mediation is not privileged, the privileges under sections 4 through 6 of P.L. 2004, c.157 (C.2A:23C-4 through C.2A:23C-6) shall not apply to the mediation or part agreed upon. Sections 4 through 6 of P.L. 2004, c.157 (C.2A:23C-4 through C.2A:23C-6) shall apply to a mediation communication made by a person who has not received actual notice of the agreement before the communication is made.