Good morning all,
I have been involved with over 1,500 mediations and, to this day, I am still presented with new issues. While conducting a mediation recently, an issue of confidentiality presented itself. The parties, both plaintiff and defendant, were confused as to the scope of confidentiality within the mediation process.
Obviously confidentiality plays a vital role, not only among the disputants at the mediation session, but also in private caucuses with the mediator. I always seek openness and truthfulness from all disputants and those built confidences in private caucuses help me asses the parties in forming a resolution that meets the needs and interests of all participants.
As a reminder….. Any statements made, numbers exchanged, or evidence relied upon at mediation will be considered confidential information. This confidentiality is not absolute, however. Parties can still use information disclosed in mediation if an independent source for that evidence exists from somewhere other than the mediation. Any content that was discussed while at mediation, without an independent source of evidence, is strictly prohibited. Mediator's statements and recommendations made at the mediation session are considered confidential. Also, mediators cannot later discuss with the judge particulars of the mediation other than whether the case was settled.
To read more about the issue of confidentiality: http://blogs.findlaw.com/law_and_life/2017/05/what-is-mediation-confidentiality.html
Practice tip for your Friday!