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South Carolina
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT
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Rule 8
Confidentiality

(a)  Confidentiality. Communications during a mediation settlement conference shall be confidential. Additionally, the parties, their attorneys and any other person present must execute an Agreement to Mediate that protects the confidentiality of the process. To that end, the parties and any other person present shall maintain the confidentiality of the mediation and shall not rely on, or introduce as evidence in any arbitral, judicial or other proceeding, any oral or written communications having occurred in a mediation proceeding, including, but not limited to:

(1)  Views expressed or suggestions made by another party or any other person present with respect to a possible settlement of the dispute;

(2)  Admissions made in the course of the mediation proceeding by another party or any other person present;

(3)  Proposals made or views expressed by the mediator;

(4)  The fact that another party had or had not indicated willingness to accept a proposal for settlement made by the mediator; or

(5)  All records, reports or other documents created solely for use in the mediation.

(b)  Limited Exceptions to Confidentiality. This rule does not prohibit:

(1)  Disclosures as may be stipulated by all parties;

(2)  A report to or an inquiry from the Chief Judge for Administrative Purposes regarding a possible violation of these rules;

(3)  The mediator or participants from responding to an appropriate request for information duly made by persons authorized by the court to monitor or evaluate the ADR program;

(4)  Threats of harm or attempts to inflict physical harm made during the mediation sessions; and

(5)  Any disclosures required by law or a professional code of ethics.

(c)  Private Consultation/Confidentiality. The mediator may meet and consult individually with any party or parties or their counsel during a mediation conference. The mediator without consent shall not divulge confidential information disclosed to a mediator in the course of a private consultation.

(d)  No Waiver of Privilege. No communication by a party or attorney to the mediator in private session shall operate to waive any attorney-client privilege.

(e)  Mediator Not to be Called as Witness. The mediator shall not be compelled by subpoena or otherwise to divulge any records or to testify in regard to the mediation in any adversary proceeding or judicial forum. All records, reports and other documents received by the mediator while serving in that capacity shall be confidential.