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. 14 15 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 16 17 Section 1. Section 26.58, Florida Statutes, is created to 18 read: 19 26.58 Felony 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.