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Mediation Services

WHAT IS MEDIATION?

Mediation is a method of dispute resolution whereby a neutral third party (the mediator) assists the disputing parties to explore options for resolving their differences.

In mediation any resolution of the dispute is agreed to between the parties. In other forms of dispute resolution (litigation, arbitration) the solution is imposed by an adjudicator. The emphasis in mediation is on reconciling interests rather than winning or losing.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF MEDIATION?

As an alternative to proceedings before a court, arbitration board or other tribunal, the advantages of mediation include:

  • Speedier resolution
  • Less cost
  • Control over outcome
  • Preservation of relationships
  • Ability to make one's own deal
  • Wider range of options for resolving disputes
  • Less formality
  • Privacy

WHO CAN USE MEDIATION?

Mediation can be used to resolve disputes in any area including:

  • Labour relations
  • Employment
  • Property disputes
  • Personal injury claims
  • Family (parental responsibilities and matrimonial property)
  • Construction and other contracts
  • Shareholder and corporate management disputes
  • Human rights
  • Professional discipline
  • Estate settlements

Mediation can be used by trade unions, employers, individuals, corporations, insurance companies, municipalities, professional bodies, and by courts and tribunals as an alternative to their adjudicative functions.

WHEN CAN MEDIATION BE USED?

Mediation can be initiated at any time during the life of a dispute, even if the parties have already become involved in litigation, arbitration or a tribunal proceeding.

HOW DOES MEDIATION WORK?

Mediation is a voluntary process. The parties enter into mediation by agreement. The mediator is chosen by agreement between the parties and no binding decision will be made unless the parties themselves agree to it. The mediation takes place at a location acceptable to all parties.

The mediator assists the parties in the negotiation process by establishing an environment and structure in which the parties can express their views, interests and feelings and explore options for settlement while avoiding many ofthe obstacles and pitfalls commonly found in direct, adversarial negotiations.

Most mediations can be completed in a day or less. While there is no guarantee that settlement will result from mediation, statistics show that the majority of disputes are resolved in whole or in part when handled through mediation.

Parties may choose to have counsel attend mediation with them. In such cases the role of counsel is advisory rather than adversarial. In all cases the parties are encouraged to seek legal advice before settlement is finalized.