The Illinois Uniform Mediation Act (735 ILCS 35/1, et seq.) provides that communications made during mediations are generally privileged and otherwise exempt from disclosure. One of the exceptions to this statutory rule is for an agreement evidenced by a record signed by all of the parties to the agreement, namely a memorandum of understanding or similar agreement executed at the conclusion of the mediation.
An agreement reached at the conclusion of a mediation session typically represents an abbreviated version of a formal settlement agreement that will be entered into by the parties at a later date. Occasionally, however, parties are unable to finalize the comprehensive settlement agreement, and the terms of the memorandum of understanding become vital to resolving related disputes.
Below are tips for preparing an agreement that is more likely to withstand judicial scrutiny.
Following the guidance above will increase the probability that a court would find an 11th-hour agreement of understanding, reached at the conclusion of an exhausting but successful mediation session, will be valid and enforceable.