Is there a public record made of what occurs in a mediation?

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2023Fact Checked

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Jeffrey Johnson

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 14, 2023

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UPDATED: Jul 14, 2023Fact Checked

There is generally no record made of a mediation, and nothing from a mediation proceeding becomes public knowledge, like court cases and transcripts sometimes can. When you submit a dispute to mediation, the matter is handled privately between you, the other parties involved in the dispute, and the mediator. This is one of the advantages of mediation.

The mediation process is a voluntary type of alternative dispute resolution. While some courts may mandate that a dispute be submitted to arbitration before they will hear the case, a mediator is not ever going to be able to compel the parties to do anything and either party can always walk away from the mediation at any time.

The purpose of mediation, and the mediator’s role, is not to make a ruling, or even to influence the decision that is ultimately made. Instead, the point is for the mediator to help the people who are having a dispute resolve the issue amicably amongst themselves. This can be less expensive than litigating a full case in front of a judge, if it works. The mediators are normally trained negotiators that help to facilitate communication and assist the parties in getting at the crux of the dispute. Each party can express what is most important to him or her, and the mediator will help the other party to really listen. Ideally, with this structured and open communication, an agreement can be reached.

Mediation may be used in divorce cases by parties who don’t want a public record of their private marital and financial matters. It can also be a more amicable way to divide up assets and custody of the kids, allowing for more autonomy of the parties. Divorce is, of course, not the only situation in which mediation is used in, but it tends to be one where it is especially favored.

If you are participating in mediation, you will still want a lawyer on your side to help protect your legal rights and make sure that any agreement you arrive at is fair and just.

Case Studies: Privacy and Confidentiality in Mediation

Case Study 1: Commercial Dispute Resolution

Two business partners, John and Sarah, are engaged in a complex commercial dispute regarding the ownership and distribution rights of a patented technology. They decide to pursue mediation to resolve the dispute privately and maintain the confidentiality of their sensitive business information.

To ensure protection in case of any breach of confidentiality, both John and Sarah obtain professional liability insurance coverage that includes coverage for legal expenses related to privacy breaches.

This insurance coverage provides them with financial protection and peace of mind during the mediation process, allowing them to focus on reaching a mutually beneficial resolution.

Case Study 2: Family Law Mediation

In a divorce case involving high net worth individuals, Tom and Lisa opt for mediation to settle their financial and child custody matters. They are concerned about maintaining privacy and avoiding public disclosure of their personal and financial information.

To protect their privacy, Tom and Lisa consult with their respective family law attorneys and secure professional indemnity insurance that covers any potential breach of confidentiality during the mediation process.

This insurance coverage not only safeguards their private affairs but also provides them with legal representation and coverage for any legal costs associated with privacy breaches.

Case Study 3: Workplace Conflict Resolution

An employee, Mark, files a complaint against his supervisor, alleging workplace harassment and discrimination. The employer, ABC Company, decides to pursue mediation as a means of resolving the dispute internally and avoiding the public scrutiny of a formal lawsuit.

ABC Company ensures that all parties involved, including Mark, the supervisor, and the mediator, sign confidentiality agreements to maintain the privacy of the mediation proceedings.

As an added layer of protection, ABC Company obtains employment practices liability insurance (EPLI), which includes coverage for claims arising from privacy breaches. This insurance coverage safeguards the confidentiality of the mediation process and provides financial protection in case of any legal action related to privacy violations.​

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Jeffrey Johnson

Insurance Lawyer

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

Insurance Lawyer

Mary Martin

Published Legal Expert

Mary Martin has been a legal writer and editor for over 20 years, responsible for ensuring that content is straightforward, correct, and helpful for the consumer. In addition, she worked on writing monthly newsletter columns for media, lawyers, and consumers. Ms. Martin also has experience with internal staff and HR operations. Mary was employed for almost 30 years by the nationwide legal publi...

Published Legal Expert

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

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