20.04 Conduct of the Mediation Session
(a) Persons Required to be Present
If a party is a public entity, that party shall be deemed to appear at a mediation session by the physical presence of (a) a representative of the party with full authority to negotiate on behalf of the party and to recommend settlement to the appropriate decision-making body and (b) the party’s counsel of record. With respect to parties who are not public entities, unless otherwise stipulated by all parties or ordered by the Court, a party shall be deemed to appear at a mediation session if all of the following persons are physically present:
1. The party or a representative of an insured party having full authority to negotiate on behalf of the party; and
2. The party’s counsel of record, if any.
If a party fails to appear at mediation session without good cause, the Court upon motion may impose sanctions against the party failing to appear. Such sanctions may include an assessment against the party failing to appear of the attorneys’ fees incurred by the other parties in preparing for and attending the mediation session and the fees of the mediator for preparing for and attending the mediation session.
(b) Communication with Parties
The mediator may, during the course of the mediation, speak privately to one or more of the parties outside the presence of other parties.
Parties and their respective counsel shall be permitted to confer privately at any time.
The mediator may adjourn the mediation session at any time and may set times for reconvening the adjourned session. The mediator shall confirm in writing to all parties the date, time, and place for reconvening the adjourned session.