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2024 California Rules of Court

Rule 3.854. Confidentiality

(a) Compliance with confidentiality law

A mediator must, at all times, comply with the applicable law concerning confidentiality.

(b) Informing participants of confidentiality

At or before the outset of the first mediation session, a mediator must provide the participants with a general explanation of the confidentiality of mediation proceedings.

(c) Confidentiality of separate communications; caucuses

If, after all the parties have agreed to participate in the mediation process and the mediator has agreed to mediate the case, a mediator speaks separately with one or more participants out of the presence of the other participants, the mediator must first discuss with all participants the mediator's practice regarding confidentiality for separate communications with the participants. Except as required by law, a mediator must not disclose information revealed in confidence during such separate communications unless authorized to do so by the participant or participants who revealed the information.

(d) Use of confidential information

A mediator must not use information that is acquired in confidence in the course of a mediation outside the mediation or for personal gain.

Rule 3.854 renumbered effective January 1, 2007; adopted as rule 1620.4 effective January 1, 2003.

Advisory Committee Comment

Subdivision (a). The general law concerning mediation confidentiality is found in Evidence Code sections 703.5 and 1115-1128 and in cases interpreting those sections. (See, e.g., Foxgate Homeowners' Association, Inc. v. Bramalea California, Inc. (2001) 26 Cal.4th 1; Rinaker v. Superior Court (1998) 62 Cal.App.4th 155; and Gilbert v. National Corp. for Housing Partnerships (1999) 71 Cal.App.4th 1240.)

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