On a personal note, I continue to be involved in the resolution of many attorney-client disputes, and have recently published an article on whether retainer agreements can contain a fee provision in the Chicago Bar Association’s Record.
With respect to the law that governs mediations, most participants tend to view the proceeding as one controlled by private contact. While the mediation agreement certainly is important, Illinois, like most states, has adopted the Uniform Mediation Act, which applies to virtually all mediations in Illinois. 710 ILCS sec. 35/1 et. seq. The only provisions in the Act of any real substance, however, are those that enforce the confidentiality of the proceeding. (See Sections 4, 5 and 6) The Act’s provisions, moreover, can be overridden by the parties’ agreement. Bottom line: if going in to, or coming out of, a mediation, and you have any questions about confidentiality, you should review the provisions of this statute.
In addition to the Illinois statute, if your mediation is under the auspices of the Circuit Court of Cook County, the Law Division has one set of rules (Part 20, Rules of the Circuit Court of Cook County) and the Chancery Division another set of rules (Part 21) for mediation. These rules are largely procedural, but should be reviewed by those involved in any such proceeding so that you will be fully complying with the court’s order.
Finally, happy new year to all.