An uncompromising belief that disputes managed early and effectively will significantly decrease the chances of protracted and costly litigation.
Parties to a dispute often face significant hurdles attempting to reach their own resolution. Mediation is a voluntary, cost-effective process where the disputing parties engage a neutral, impartial mediator to help them overcome those hurdles and achieve a unique and binding solution of their own making.
The mediator’s role is to encourage a constructive and confidential discussion of the issues in dispute and help the parties identify and explore solutions to come to a voluntary settlement. The mediation process is flexible and can be adapted to suit the parties’ needs and the unique nature of their dispute. Mediation can be effectively used at any stage of a dispute, whether or not any other process has been commenced, including a lawsuit.
Solvit mediators can help parties resolve a wide variety of disputes, including:
- Commercial and corporate disputes
- Personal injury claims
- Products liability claims
- Professional negligence claims
- Insurance coverage disputes
- Workplace – Labour and Employment disputes
- First Nations issues
- Sports disputes
- Strata and landlord/tenant disputes
Please contact one of us at Solvit to discuss how we can help.
FAQ - Mediation
What happens in a mediation?
Solvit mediators will work with the parties to agree on the most efficient and productive mediation process. Depending on the dispute, parties will often have meetings (or teleconferences) with the mediator before the mediation and will schedule one, or more, mediation sessions. During the mediation, parties will have discussions as a group and may also break out into smaller groups where appropriate. The mediator will help the parties effectively and productively communicate, explore as many alternatives as possible, and ensure that the interests and needs of all the parties are addressed. If the parties are able to come to a resolution, they may draft the terms into a binding settlement agreement.
How do I prepare for a Mediation?
Preparation is key in order to get the most value out of a mediation. The chances of reaching a resolution that is satisfactory to all parties are greater when the parties are prepared. Preparation will be different depending on the dispute but parties can engage in a mediation most effectively when they have considered and analyzed:
- Their legal position and the other parties’ positions;
- Their non-legal interests and needs;
- The other parties’ non-legal interests and needs;
- Common and shared interests, needs or goals;
- Potential solutions and alternatives;
- The risks – legal, business and practical – in not reaching a satisfactory solution through mediation.
Solvit mediators will meet the parties in pre-mediation meetings or teleconferences which will also help in preparation, including examining whether all documents, expert reports and other information have been exchanged, considering who will attend the session, identifying any preliminary issues for discussion or resolution etc. so that the parties may make the most productive use of their time in the mediation.
Is a Mediation binding?
The parties’ goal at a mediation is to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution of their dispute. It is a voluntary and confidential process whose outcome will bind the parties. When the parties reach a resolution, the terms will be drafted into a settlement agreement – a contract between the parties – which will only bind the parties when it is entered into.
When does a mediation end?
Mediation is a voluntary process, and the parties will agree on a schedule for their mediation, including an end point. No party is “captive” in a mediation session, and any party may end the mediation at any time. This matter – and many other matters with respect to the conduct and details of a particular mediation – will be contemplated in the Agreement to Mediate which all the parties will enter before mediating.
What is the cost, and who pays?
Generally, parties will split the cost of the mediation equally, but they may also agree on any other type of split. Details of the mediation fees will be part of the Agreement to Mediate which the parties will enter into before mediating.