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Mediator forwarding emails with personal info

  • Lady in Blue
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17 Jul 09 #132026 by Lady in Blue
Topic started by Lady in Blue
Does anyone know the legalities of this:

Mediator (who is also a solicitor) is at the stage of producing documents for settlement agreed at a joint meeting.

I emailed mediator asking if I could pick documents up when ready rather than posting. In same email I made a private comment which had nothing to do with mediation whatsoever.

Mediator replied copying my x into it which allowed him to see what I had written in my email.

I replied to mediator, this time heading it "private & confidential" and saying that I wasn't happy that my email had been forwarded to x allowing him to see personal info.

Mediator replied saying that everything in mediation is open so that all parties have trust in the process but even though I had marked this email private, it was copied to my x again allowing him to see that I had objected to mediator copying him in.

I am absolutely gobsmacked. I could understand it if I had made any comments to do with the mediation or anything financial but it was my own personal business.

I have been dying to reply to mediator and this time copying my x in myself but I'm afraid that if I do, it will upset the applecart as we are so close to settling.

Anyone else have any opinions?

  • D L
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17 Jul 09 #132027 by D L
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The mediator is right - all communications should be shared... that is the point of mediation. The trust would quickly break down if one party was giving the mediator information which the mediator then didnt share.

  • Lady in Blue
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17 Jul 09 #132041 by Lady in Blue
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The point is DL that I wasn't asking or giving any information about anything to do with the mediation or anything financial.

What I said in addition was only chit chat about something to do with my own personal life which I wouldn't neccessarily have wanted to share with anyone else let alone my x.

All the mediator had to do was to say that I couldn't pick the documents up in a separate email and cc my x into that one.

Surely there are rules in the data protection act that prevent people from forwarding emails particularly when they are marked private and confidential?

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17 Jul 09 #132044 by D L
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Then you shouldn't have shared it with the mediator. Mediators cannot edit emails. Look at it this way - if you received an email she forwarded from your ex that you knew or suspected had been edited you would be on here furious that it had happened. The point is you shouldn't give a mediator, who is under an open duty as you know to share information, information that you do not want shared. The onus is on you here.

  • Imediate
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21 Jul 09 #132953 by Imediate
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I'm not sure I agree with DL.

As far as I am concerned, NOT everything is open. Obviously, all financial and relevant information has to be shared, but there are things I treat as confidential when mediating a case. For example, if a wife tells me that she thinks her husband is a complete sh*t and if a husband says that he thinks she is a lying cow, then I don't spin round and tell them. (They probably know they think that already!)

That is a slightly extreme (and not very helpful) example. A better one would be where one party says he or she thinks the other has not disclosed, say, a bank account. I don't immediately say "Your spouse thinks etc...". It puts me on my guard and makes me more vigilant when looking at bank accounts, and I can underline the need for full disclosure, the potential for penalties for non-disclosure and so on.

Such confidentiality means that each person will feel free to speak completely candidly, which will help the mediator to do a better job.

I think there is a place for discretion on the part of a mediator and the mediator should understand what is relevant and what needs to be passed on and what isn't and doesn't.

  • Lady in Blue
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21 Jul 09 #133011 by Lady in Blue
Reply from Lady in Blue
Thanks for your input Imediate.

Fortunately, my x also thought it was poor of our mediator to have forwarded my email to him.

He concurred that it was of no relevance to our discussions and he wouldn't have wanted it to happen to him either.

Common sense is the key to most things.

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