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Mediation: Confidentiality and Enforceability of the Process

Kimberly Taylor, Esq.
Kimberly Taylor, Esq.
JAMS President

Published April 6, 2015

An essential element of a successful mediation is confidentiality.  Participants to a mediation must be able to rely on the confidentiality of the process if they are going to be candid with the mediator about their settlement positions, pressure points, litigation strategy and other sensitive issues.  This principle is reflected in the Uniform Mediation Act, finalized in 2003 and adopted by 11 states to date, including Washington, Idaho, Utah, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey, Vermont and Hawaii.  According to the Act, “[t]his frank exchange can be achieved only if the participants know that what is said in the mediation will not be used to their detriment through later court proceedings and adjudicatory processes.”

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