Massachusetts Uniform Mediation Act: time to make your opinion count online or in person

MassUMA Working Group seeks comments on proposed Uniform Mediation ActSince 2006, a group of mediators in Massachusetts, designating itself the MassUMA Working Group, has met regularly to discuss the adoption of the Uniform Mediation Act (“UMA”) in the Commonwealth.

The UMA protects communications made during a mediation and establishes a limited evidentiary privilege that prevents the use of those communications in subsequent legal proceedings.  The UMA could replace the current law in Massachusetts, M.G.L. ch. 233, § 23C.

During the course of two years, the MassUMA Working Group through the efforts of its subcommittees has produced recommendations and most recently an amended version of the UMA for consideration and public commenting.

The Working Group has scheduled the following public meetings to provide information about the UMA and invite input from mediators and the general public:

(FYI, I’ll be facilitating the meeting on November 24 in Greenfield.)

In addition, two meetings of the MassUMA Working Group, also open to the public, will be held on the following dates:

  • Thursday, December 4, 2008, 3-5 p.m.
  • Tuesday, December 16, 2008, 2-5 p.m.

These meetings will take place at the offices of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services, 99 Summer Street, Boston, MA. If you cannot attend in person, you can still participate by phone by calling 712-429-0690, enter access code 317609 and wait for other participants.

The public (that’s you) is strongly encouraged to comment online on the amended version of the Uniform Mediation Act proposed by the MassUMA Working Group, known as the UMA One Text.

If you’re interested in my two cents, you can read my objections to the amended version in an article I posted a year ago, “In weighing the Uniform Mediation Act, Massachusetts mediators may be poised to repeat mistakes of the past. I’m planning to revisit and refine those objections in an upcoming post soon.

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