When it comes to negotiating agreements to settle lawsuits or restructure debts, confidentially is a serious matter, but so is the need for disclosure and transparency. It’s very tough to satisfy both requirements. Neither party is willing to be totally candid and open to the face of the other. Neither party is willing to take a leap of faith to trust the other party. These are situations especially well-suited for mediation.
During mediation, each party will have one or more opportunities to meet privately one on one with the mediator without the presence of any other party. This is the time to trust and confide in the mediator. Share with him those more sensitive facts and figures that you are not comfortable disclosing to the other parties. Tell him your real priorities. The mediator, just like an attorney, is legally bound not to disclose any of these conversations to the other parties. Once the mediator gets the full story from all sides, there is a lot he can do with this information to steer the negotiations towards agreement without actually disclosing any of this confidential information.