(a) Except as otherwise provided in §  19-13A-6 , a mediation communication is privileged as provided in subsection (b) and is not subject to discovery or admissible in evidence in a proceeding unless waived or precluded as provided by §  19-13A-5 .

(b) In a proceeding, the following privileges apply:

Terms Used In South Dakota Codified Laws 19-13A-4

  • Discovery: Lawyers' examination, before trial, of facts and documents in possession of the opponents to help the lawyers prepare for trial.
  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • Person: includes natural persons, partnerships, associations, cooperative corporations, limited liability companies, and corporations. See South Dakota Codified Laws 2-14-2

(1)    A mediation party may refuse to disclose, and may prevent any other person from disclosing, a mediation communication.

(2)    A mediator may refuse to disclose a mediation communication, and may prevent any other person from disclosing a mediation communication of the mediator.

(3)    A nonparty participant may refuse to disclose, and may prevent any other person from disclosing, a mediation communication of the nonparty participant.

(c) Evidence or information that is otherwise admissible or subject to discovery does not become inadmissible or protected from discovery solely by reason of its disclosure or use in a mediation.

Source: SL 2008, ch 286 (Supreme Court Rule 07-07), eff. Jan. 1, 2008.