Update on the Status of the Mediation Agreement Approval
November 29, 2023
During the mediation on June 29, 2023, the Plaintiffs and the Defendants reached an agreement, with the terms outlined in a handwritten document. It was agreed the settlement remain confidential and under seal until approved by the Court. Both parties entered into a Confidentiality Agreement which stipulated the discussions during mediation were not to be shared.
Throughout September, Plaintiffs counsel worked with Defendants counsel to coordinate a joint motion for approval of the Mediation Settlement, culminating with a draft joint motion being provided to the Defendants counsel. After these efforts to secure a joint submission were unsuccessful, the Plaintiffs counsel filed a motion requesting the Court approve the Mediation Settlement Agreement on October 4, 2023. A Court hearing was scheduled for November 3, 2023 to review and discuss the motion.
Subsequent to the filling of the motion to approve the Agreement, the Judge asked both the Plaintiffs and the Defendants counsel to provide written arguments as to why the Agreement should or should not remain under seal. Plaintiffs counsel provided a Memorandum of Plaintiffs Regarding Mediation Settlement in which it argued the Agreement should not remain under seal and needed to be shared with all impacted by this derivative action. (Link to What is a Derivative Action?) Defendants counsel did not file a memorandum.
In preparing for the November 3rd hearing, Judge Boniface convened a Zoom meeting with Plaintiffs and Defendants counsel on October 31, 2023, during which the Judge determined the Mediation Agreement should be made public and not remain under seal. She asked both attorneys to submit a draft Court Order for her review and potential approval.
Plaintiffs counsel drafted the Motion for the Order Approving Mediation Settlement Agreement as the Judge requested and submitted it to both the Defendants and the Judge on November 1, 2023. Defendants counsel had some objections to the wording in the order which required discussions between the Plaintiffs and the Defendants. The Defendants counsel would not agree to the draft Order language; consequently, Plaintiffs counsel submitted their draft to Judge Boniface on November 14, 2023.
The Court Order approving the Mediation Settlement Agreement is expected to be received any day. Once the Court Order is approved by the Judge, it will be shared with Deerfield residents through the Connection.