It seems to me that the legislature in enacting the statute believes that on balance the public policy protecting strict confidentiality in mediation outweighs the limited opportunity for attorney abuse or other such collateral problems.
Leslie Ann Grove, Spokane WA email@example.com 12/03/08
Thanks for the concise update. For me, the troubling decision is Wimsatt, which seems to indicate there is no protection in California for a person whose own attorney misbehaves in the course of mediation. The crucial confidentiality rules were originally meant to encourage safe, creative approaches to settlement by the parties. This collateral conflict, which (on the face of the summary) does not seem to involve the other mediation party at all, appears to end up providing a handy safe harbor for a lawyer to operate, with impunity, outside the ethics rules. I will read the cited cases to adjust my first impressions, but I'd love to see some discussion on this topic. Thanks, again, for your summaries.