Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 8.01. Civil Remedies and Procedure
Chapter 20.2. Court-Referred Dispute Resolution Proceedings

§ 8.01-576.10. Confidentiality of dispute resolution proceeding.

All memoranda, work products and other materials contained in the case files of a neutral or dispute resolution program are confidential. Any communication made in or in connection with the dispute resolution proceeding that relates to the controversy, including screening, intake and scheduling a dispute resolution proceeding, whether made to the neutral or dispute resolution program staff or to a party, or to any other person, is confidential. However, a written settlement agreement signed by the parties shall not be confidential, unless the parties otherwise agree in writing.

Confidential materials and communications are not subject to disclosure in discovery or in any judicial or administrative proceeding except (i) where all parties to the dispute resolution proceeding agree, in writing, to waive the confidentiality, (ii) in a subsequent action between the neutral or dispute resolution program and a party to the dispute resolution proceeding for damages arising out of the dispute resolution proceeding, (iii) statements, memoranda, materials and other tangible evidence, otherwise subject to discovery, that were not prepared specifically for use in and actually used in the dispute resolution proceeding, (iv) where a threat to inflict bodily injury is made, (v) where communications are intentionally used to plan, attempt to commit, or commit a crime or conceal an ongoing crime, (vi) where an ethics complaint is made against the neutral by a party to the dispute resolution proceeding to the extent necessary for the complainant to prove misconduct and the neutral to defend against such complaint, (vii) where communications are sought or offered to prove or disprove a claim or complaint of misconduct or malpractice filed against a party's legal representative based on conduct occurring during a mediation, (viii) where communications are sought or offered to prove or disprove any of the grounds listed in § 8.01-576.12 in a proceeding to vacate a mediated agreement, or (ix) as provided by law or rule. The use of attorney work product in a dispute resolution proceeding shall not result in a waiver of the attorney work product privilege.

1993, c. 905; 1994, c. 687; 2002, c. 718; 2013, cc. 283, 383.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.