§ 131.59b. Mandatory mediation.
(a) A mandatory mediation will not be assigned to an adjudicating judge. Petitions not resolved by mediation will proceed before the adjudicating judge as if mediation had not occurred. The mediating judge will not participate in any decision on the merits of the petition or petitions. This subsection cannot be waived or modified, as otherwise provided in § 131.3 (relating to waiver and modification of rules).
(b) Mandatory mediation activities conducted by mediating judges are confidential except that communications, conduct or documents are not confidential if relevant to establish that a party or counsel failed to do one of the following:
(1) Appear for a mediation without prior approval of the mediating judge.
(2) Attend a mediation in person or by teleconference, as required by the mediating judge.
(3) Have requisite authority to accept, modify or reject settlement proposals offered at the mediation, whether at the mediation, or within a reasonable period of time after the mediation as established by the mediating judge.
(c) The adjudicating judge shall possess authority to impose sanctions for the failure of the parties to comply with the mediation provisions of sections 401 and 401.1 of the act (77 P. S. § § 701 and 710) and may consider sections 435(b) and 435(d) of the act (77 P. S. § § 991(b) and 991(d)), as well as circumstances and sanctions set forth in § 131.13(j) and (m) (relating to continuances or postponement of hearings).
(d) Nothing in this chapter precludes the parties from participating in a voluntary mediation.
(e) Subsections (a)(d) supersede 1 Pa. Code § § 31.2131.23, 35.11135.116 and 35.188.
The provisions of this § 131.59b issued under sections 401.1 and 435(a) and (c) of the Workers Compensation Act (77 P. S. § § 710 and 991(a) and (c)); section 2205 of The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P. S. § 565); and section 414 of The Pennsylvania Occupational Disease Act (77 P. S. § 1514).
The provisions of this § 131.59b adopted October 16, 2009, effective October 17, 2009, 39 Pa.B. 6038.
This section cited in 34 Pa. Code § 131.3 (relating to waiver and modification of rules); and 34 Pa. Code § 131.5 (relating to definitions).
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