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Mediation is a process in which the mediator facilitates communication between the parties to a dispute for the purpose of helping them to reach an agreement. In order to encourage the parties to be open and candid with the mediator and with each other, California law provides that all communications that take place during mediation are confidential. In 1997 the Legislature enacted Evidence Code �1115-1128. These statutes established mediation confidentiality as an evidentiary exclusion based upon a strong public policy. The rules and procedures are extensive and detailed, and many misunderstandings exist about their meaning and application. The questions and answers that follow are designed to clear up some of these misunderstandings while also providing a basic working knowledge of the subject for lawyers who may not be thoroughly familiar with this aspect of mediation.

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