Rule 514 strengthens the protection of confidentiality in the mediation process by creating an evidentiary privilege, the strongest protection known to evidence law, for confidential communications between parties and mediators and for mediators themselves and their records and notes. Although an evidentiary privilege does not automatically assure confidentiality outside the courtroom, the status of communications and information as "privileged" invokes protections for privileged matter in various other rules and statutes. For instance, confidential communications in mediation become immune from civil discovery under F.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). Such com-
munications cannot be elicited in connection with criminal investigations (other than as specifically authorized in the listed exceptions) or in other civil proceedings.
*Robert Braucher Visiting Professor of Law, Harvard School, and Consultant, Maine Advisory Committee on Rules of Evidenc