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The Florida Statutes

The 2016 Florida Statutes

Title V
JUDICIAL BRANCH
Chapter 44
MEDIATION ALTERNATIVES TO JUDICIAL ACTION
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F.S. 44.405
44.405 Confidentiality; privilege; exceptions.
(1) Except as provided in this section, all mediation communications shall be confidential. A mediation participant shall not disclose a mediation communication to a person other than another mediation participant or a participant’s counsel. A violation of this section may be remedied as provided by s. 44.406. If the mediation is court ordered, a violation of this section may also subject the mediation participant to sanctions by the court, including, but not limited to, costs, attorney’s fees, and mediator’s fees.
(2) A mediation party has a privilege to refuse to testify and to prevent any other person from testifying in a subsequent proceeding regarding mediation communications.
(3) If, in a mediation involving more than two parties, a party gives written notice to the other parties that the party is terminating its participation in the mediation, the party giving notice shall have a privilege to refuse to testify and to prevent any other person from testifying in a subsequent proceeding regarding only those mediation communications that occurred prior to the delivery of the written notice of termination of mediation to the other parties.
(4)(a) Notwithstanding subsections (1) and (2), there is no confidentiality or privilege attached to a signed written agreement reached during a mediation, unless the parties agree otherwise, or for any mediation communication:
1. For which the confidentiality or privilege against disclosure has been waived by all parties;
2. That is willfully used to plan a crime, commit or attempt to commit a crime, conceal ongoing criminal activity, or threaten violence;
3. That requires a mandatory report pursuant to chapter 39 or chapter 415 solely for the purpose of making the mandatory report to the entity requiring the report;
4. Offered to report, prove, or disprove professional malpractice occurring during the mediation, solely for the purpose of the professional malpractice proceeding;
5. Offered for the limited purpose of establishing or refuting legally recognized grounds for voiding or reforming a settlement agreement reached during a mediation; or
6. Offered to report, prove, or disprove professional misconduct occurring during the mediation, solely for the internal use of the body conducting the investigation of the conduct.
(b) A mediation communication disclosed under any provision of subparagraph (a)3., subparagraph (a)4., subparagraph (a)5., or subparagraph (a)6. remains confidential and is not discoverable or admissible for any other purpose, unless otherwise permitted by this section.
(5) Information that is otherwise admissible or subject to discovery does not become inadmissible or protected from discovery by reason of its disclosure or use in mediation.
(6) A party that discloses or makes a representation about a privileged mediation communication waives that privilege, but only to the extent necessary for the other party to respond to the disclosure or representation.
History.s. 4, ch. 2004-291.