October 31, 2014
Confidentiality Policies

Confidentiality is an important part of mediation. It can help participants to feel more comfortable about speaking openly.

The Confidentiality Agreement that you will sign at the mediation is based on California law and the mediation program's policies.

If you have concerns about mediation and confidentiality, talk to a lawyer.

Whether you sign the Confidentiality Agreement or not, California law will still apply.

With limited exceptions:

  • Any communication between the participants during the mediation is confidential.
  • Any communication between the participants and program staff or volunteer mediators from the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center (PCRC) is confidential.
  • Any documents prepared for mediation, during mediation, or as a direct result of mediation cannot be used as evidence in Juvenile Court or other civil legal proceedings. This does not include documents that existed before mediation and information obtained outside of mediation.
  • You cannot use program staff or volunteer mediators as witnesses in Juvenile Court or other civil legal proceeding.

Program Policies

  • If mediators meet with participants separately, the mediators will keep any information learned in the private meetings confidential. Exception: Mediators can share information with another participant if you ask them to do so.
  • Mediators will report any concerns about abuse or threats to the Program Manager. The Program Manager may report those concerns to other agencies or individuals.
  • If all the parties agree, you can make exceptions to the Confidentiality Agreement. You must write these exceptions down at the mediation session as part of the agreement.
  • These exceptions can include the names of any people you may want to talk to about this mediation or whether you agree to share your mediation agreement with social workers or the court.
© 2014 Superior Court of San Mateo County