Thursday, May 6, 2021

Court Addresses Applicability of Mediation Privilege (42 Pa.C.S.A. Section 5949)

Did you know that there was a provision in the Judicial Code codifying the rule that information exchanged at mediations should be treated as confidential by all parties involved?

In the case of Lee & Associates v. Conewago Industrial Park Associates, No. 2018-00757 Civil (C.P. Cumb. Co. Feb. 8, 2021 Peck, J.), the court addressed the concept of a mediation privilege in the context of a Motion to Compel Discovery filed by a Plaintiff in a civil action in which a commercial realtor was suing a landowner for commissions allegedly earned in connection with the sale of two (2) lots owned by the Defendant.   

In this case, the Plaintiff’s attorney sought the discovery of documents signed by persons where not parties to a mediation.   

Under the mediation privilege, all communications and documents shared during a mediation are considered to be privileged from disclosure outside of the mediation proceedings.  See 42 Pa. C.S.A. Section 5949.

The court ruled that the mediation privilege did not apply to the case at hand. As such, the Defendant was compelled to provide discovery with respect to the commissions at issue.   

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.

I send thanks to Attorney Thomas E. Brenner of the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania law firm of Caldwell & Kearns, P.C. for bringing this case to my attention.  

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