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Abstract

When parties use mediation as an alternative to litigation, they generally expect the agreement will be binding upon the parties and confidential. However, the parties must ensure that the agreement they reach is reduced to writing or the agreement may not be enforceable. Furthermore, certain things said during the mediation session may be admissible in future litigation proceedings. The Indiana Supreme Court, in Vernon v. Acton, held that until mediation agreements are reduced to writing and signed by the parties, they must be considered compromise settlement negotiations under the applicable evidence rules and are not admissible as evidence of an oral mediation agreement.2

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