The parties and all amici curiae recognize the purpose of confidentiality ***653 is to promote "a candid and informal exchange regarding events in the past.... This frank exchange is achieved only if the participants know that what is said in the mediation will not be used to their detriment through later court proceedings and other adjudicatory processes." (Nat. Conf. of Comrs. on U. State Laws, U. Mediation Act (May 2001) § 2, Reporter's working notes, 1; see also Note, Protecting Confidentiality in Mediation (1984) 98 Harv. L.Rev. 441, 445. [ "Mediation demands ... that the parties feel free to be frank not only with the mediator but also with each other.... Agreement may be impossible if the mediator cannot overcome the parties' wariness about confiding in each other during these sessions."].)
As all parties and amici curiae recognize, confidentiality is essential to effective mediation, a form of alternative dispute resolution encouraged and, in some cases required by, the Legislature.