20.07 Confidentiality of Communications to Mediator

(a) General Rule of Mediator Confidentiality

All oral and written communications with the mediator at any time, other than executed settlement agreements, shall be deemed confidential and privileged in accordance with the provisions of the Uniform Mediation Act. All such communications shall be exempt from discovery and inadmissible as evidence in any action or proceeding. However, evidence that is otherwise admissible or subject to discovery does not become inadmissible or protected from discovery solely by reason of its use in a mediation session.

(b) Exceptions to General Rule of Mediator Confidentiality

The general rule of confidentiality does not apply:

1. In situations where professional misconduct reporting rules, such as the Rules of Professional Conduct, require reporting of a mediation communication;

2. As necessary to defend against a lawsuit or claim for malpractice or other misconduct; or

3. In the case of threat of a prospective crime or of serious imminent harm to any person.

In such circumstances, the reporting party may testify to or report only the necessary information to the appropriate authorities. The mediator shall not be compelled to provide evidence of a mediation communication in any lawsuit or claim against an attorney or party participating in the mediation.

(c) Disputes Over Settlement Agreements

In the event of a dispute over a settlement agreement, the Court will allow enforcement hearings only on fully executed written settlement agreements arising out of the mediation. Parties to the mediation may waive confidentiality to the extent necessary to testify at such hearings. The mediator may only testify to the existence or lack of existence of a fully executed written settlement agreement and shall not agree to or be compelled to testify as to any mediation communication or give interpretation of any mediation communication.

Copyright 2018 by Circuit Court of Cook County