Virginia's Judicial System

Readers' Response

Question: Does Virginia Code Section 8.01-576.10 related to confidentiality in mediation mean that all parties are bound by complete confidentiality and that no one can talk to anyone else about what was said in mediation?

Answer: A strict interpretation of Section 8.01-576.10 would suggest that all mediation communications are confidential, with the limited exceptions described therein. If parties would like to create additional exceptions to confidentiality, such as to allow discussions with family members, experts, etc., then that should be included explicitly in the Agreement to Mediate Form. Section 8.01-576.12 implies that parties are able and encouraged to speak to independent counsel regarding mediation communications.

New Question: Can a person who is not a party named in a suit be a participant in a mediation, such as a neighbor, relative, or significant other?

You are invited to respond. Please send your response to: Readers' Response, c/o Resolutions, Office of the Executive Secretary, Department of Dispute Resolution Services, 100 North Ninth Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219.

This page last modified: October 26, 2001