§ 2.2-4119

Confidentiality between parties; exemption to Freedom of Information Act

A. Except for the materials described in subsection B, all dispute resolution proceedings conducted pursuant to this chapter are subject to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.).

B. All memoranda, work products, or other materials contained in the case file of a mediator are confidential and all materials in the case file of a mediation program pertaining to a specific mediation are confidential. Any communication made in or in connection with a mediation that relates to the dispute, including communications to schedule a mediation, whether made to a mediator, a mediation program, a party or any other person is confidential. A written settlement agreement is not confidential unless the parties agree in writing. Confidential materials and communications are not subject to disclosure or discovery in any judicial or administrative proceeding except (i) when all parties to the mediation agree, in writing, to waive the confidentiality; (ii) to the extent necessary in a subsequent action between the mediator and a party for damages arising out of the mediation; (iii) statements, memoranda, materials and other tangible evidence, otherwise subject to discovery, which were not prepared specifically for use in and actually used in the mediation; (iv) where communications are sought or offered to prove or disprove a claim or complaint of professional misconduct or malpractice filed against the mediator; (v) where a threat to inflict bodily injury is made; (vi) where communications are intentionally used to plan, attempt to commit or commit a crime or conceal an ongoing crime; (vii) where communications are sought or offered to prove or disprove a claim or complaint of misconduct or malpractice filed against a party, nonparty, participant or representative of a party based on conduct occurring during a mediation; (viii) where communications are sought or offered to prove or disprove any of the reasons listed in § 8.01-576.12 that would enable a court to vacate a mediated agreement; or (ix) as provided by law or rule other than the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.). The use of attorney work product in a mediation shall not result in a waiver of the attorney work product privilege. Unless otherwise specified by the parties, no mediation proceeding shall be electronically or stenographically recorded.

History

2002, c. 633.

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