EFFECTIVELY RESOLVING DISPUTES OUTSIDE THE COURTROOM
Civil mediation offers an alternative dispute resolution mechanism which allows the parties to resolve their disputes outside of the courtroom with the assistance of an experienced mediator. Mediators are trained to bring the parties together to find creative solutions to their dispute.
Mediations with Weilers LLP can be held in person or over Zoom. Flexible scheduling options including evenings and weekends are available. We welcome individuals and organizations from all communities and sectors to explore mediation as a viable alternative to a final decision by a judge or arbitrator. Mediation may be attempted at any stage of the dispute, even mid hearing.
What is a mediator?
A mediator is a neutral third party that assists participants in resolving disputes.
What is mediation?
Mediation is a process of guided negotiation facilitated by a mediator with the goal of reaching an agreement between participants. The purpose of mediation is to help the participants find common ground or a resolution to their dispute that is acceptable to all involved. Motivation focuses on interests not rights. This differs from a court or arbitration proceeding.
What happens during mediation?
Both parties are giving the opportunity to present their views and preferences with the assistance of the mediator. The mediator will help the participants explore potential resolutions that accommodate their concerns to seek an agreement. The mediator may provide their opinion or information along the way to help the parties reach an agreement, but at the end of the day the final resolution is in the hands of the parties.
What are the advantages of mediation?
Mediation is a much more flexible process than litigation or arbitration. The mediation process itself can be tailored to the participants’ needs and the concerns they would like to address. Mediation is often also faster and more cost effective than other alternatives.
The participants retain control of the outcome and all involved need to agree. This regularly leads to longer lasting resolutions than court imposed Orders.
How much does mediation cost?
Mediation costs vary depending on the length and the experience of the mediator. Weilers LLP provides mediation at an hourly rate as well as offering half day or full day mediation sessions so that the expense is more predictable for participants. The cost of mediation is often shared by the parties, although other arrangements can be made. Please contact our office to receive more information about rates.
How long does mediation take?
Mediation does not have a fixed time limit. In civil litigation, we find that cases with one or two issues can often be resolved in a half day. Other cases take longer. Occasionally, sessions are spaced out to allow parties to reconsider options or get more information.
How do I prepare for mediation?
Typically in a civil mediation, the parties exchange short memoranda setting out their views on the case which are provided to the mediator in advance, together with copies of key documents. This allows the mediator to arrive prepared with a basic understanding of the dispute. You should know both the strengths and weaknesses of your own position, and those of the other side.
You should arrive prepared to listen with an open mind.
You should come with the ability to conclude a binding settlement if agreement can be reached. If that requires someone else’s approval, you should have them on stand-by.
Is mediation legally binding?
Because mediation is voluntary, a decision cannot be imposed and no Order is made. However, if a settlement is agreed to, you or your lawyer will record it in writing, and that may lead to a binding court order.
Can what I say at a mediation be used against me?
Everything said at the mediation is confidential, and cannot be repeated except to enforce a settlement, or prevent a crime. Though we always hope participants will be forthcoming, you do need to know that although your opposing party cannot reveal what you said, they still know what you said. But you can also learn things about their case, or motivations.
What happens if the mediation does not result in a settlement?
Then the parties pay the mediation cost and move forward with the dispute. We find that in a significant number of cases, negotiations begun at the mediation will later lead to a settlement.
In some situations, the parties ask the mediator to prepare a confidential report just for the parties setting out the status at the end of the mediation, so that they are clear what the issues are and what each party’s final position was.
If you wish the mediator to continue to assist, that can be arranged.
Some mediations will also result in a partial settlement, narrowing the issues in dispute, or agreeing to a path forward to resolve issues more smoothly than a full hearing.