The entire process of mediation shall be kept in the strictest of confidence. Confidentiality of information presented in mediation sessions is critical to the success of the mediation process. By engaging in mediation, the parties and their attorneys acknowledge and agree that all offers of settlement made during mediation are confidential, and that all settlement discussions are privileged.
The parties and the mediator acknowledge and agree that what transpires in mediation shall not be disclosed outside of mediation, and shall not be the basis for any action in the underlying legal proceeding, if there is one pending, or in any court proceedings for any reason. The exception is any mediated agreement filed with the Court (whether it be a temporary, final, partial or complete agreement). To further elaborate, statements of parties or counsel, offers and counter-offers conveyed, and legal positions advanced, shall be made without prejudice to any later made or held position, and shall not be admissible in any underlying litigation or in any other legal proceeding for any purpose, and shall not be disclosed to any third parties.
For more details, see the Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators page.
Format of Mediation
Prior to mediation, I will confer with counsel regarding which mediation format (outlined below), will best suit your circumstances and needs.
We typically start in joint session, then break into private caucus sessions, i.e. one room for each party with their counsel. Depending on which format is chosen, the joint session will include some or all of these topics:
- we discuss Rules of Mediation, including confidentiality,
- we take a brief history of the marriage,
- we summarize and place values on the assets and liabilities of the marital estate.
The topics not covered during joint session will be addressed in private caucus sessions.
Certain situations may lead the parties to chose one of these less-common formats:
- the parties may start and remain in individual caucus sessions for the entire mediation.
- the parties may remain in joint session throughout, with breaks for brief individual caucus sessions when necessary.
Private Caucus Sessions
To achieve final resolution, private caucus sessions may be used to discuss issues in dispute, evaluate offers and consider other options. You will have the opportunity to speak you’re your counsel and myself as we work towards an equitable resolution.
To the extent that information is shared with me in private session, I assume I have your permission to disclose such information to the other side unless you specifically request otherwise.
In the event we reach an impasse and if you concur, I may request to meet with counsel or the parties, individually or together.
After the mediation concludes either by the execution of an agreement or a mutual determination to cease further mediation efforts, I retain the option of destroying all my notes and documents except those necessary for my administrative records.