Florida Senate - 2021                                    SB 1346
       By Senator Brandes
       24-01768-21                                           20211346__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to felony settlement conferences;
    3         creating s. 26.58, F.S.; authorizing circuit courts to
    4         establish settlement conferences in felony matters;
    5         specifying the purpose of settlement conferences;
    6         requiring settlement conferences to be presided over
    7         by a settlement conference judge; specifying
    8         requirements for settlement conference judges;
    9         prohibiting the trial judge presiding over the pending
   10         matter from presiding over the felony settlement
   11         conference; authorizing circuit courts using felony
   12         settlement conferences to adopt procedures; providing
   13         an effective date.
   15  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   17         Section 1. Section 26.58, Florida Statutes, is created to
   18  read:
   19         26.58Felony settlement conferences.—A circuit court may
   20  establish procedures for felony settlement conferences to
   21  facilitate further negotiation of settlements between parties to
   22  a pending felony criminal case if such parties have previously
   23  failed to reach a negotiated disposition. Such conferences must
   24  be presided over by a settlement conference judge, who must
   25  assist the parties in reaching a negotiated disposition over the
   26  pending matter. A settlement conference judge must be a retired
   27  judge or an attorney who had no involvement with the pending
   28  matter outside of the felony settlement conference process. The
   29  trial judge presiding over the pending matter may not preside
   30  over the felony settlement conference. A circuit court using
   31  felony settlement conferences may adopt any other procedures to
   32  administer this section.
   33         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.