What is Mediation?
M ediation, as used in law, is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), a way of resolving disputes between two or more parties with concrete effects. Typically, a third party, the mediator, assists the parties to negotiate a settlement. Disputants may mediate disputes in a variety of domains, such as commercial, legal, diplomatic, workplace, community and family matters.
The term “mediation” broadly refers to any instance in which a third party helps others reach agreement. Mediation has a structure, timetable, and dynamics that “ordinary” negotiation lacks. The process is private and confidential, possibly enforced by law. Participation is typically voluntary. The mediator acts as a neutral third party and facilitates rather than directs the process.
Mediators use various techniques to open, or improve, dialogue between disputants, aiming to help the parties reach an agreement. Much depends on the mediator’s skill and training. As the practice gained popularity, training programs, certifications and licensing followed, producing trained, professional mediators committed to the discipline.
Why choose Mediation?
Avoid Court.Mediation clients typically do not go to court. At the end of the mediation the mediator or a lawyer will prepare all of the paperwork and file it with the court.
Faster Agreements.Litigated cases can take as little as six months and as long as several years. Recently, nationwide budget cuts have required courts to reduce staff and even cut the number of days courts are open, all of which means it will take longer to actually get to court. Mediations, on the other hand, occur on the participants' timeline and can therefore be done far quicker, often in as little as a couple of months (or less).
Client Control.Mediation clients decide the terms of their own agreement with the assistance of the mediator. There is no final agreement unless both clients agree to it. Mediation allows you to eliminate the possibility that a judge will order something that makes no sense to you.
Reduced Cost.Traditional litigation is very expensive and the total cost is highly unpredictable. Additionally, litigation clients are often required to pay the other side's attorney fees as well. Mediation costs far less because the focus is on constructive resolution, not "destroying" the other side. Mediation is far less expensive because you spend your time actively working on resolving your case rather than filing motions, etc. Further, mediation costs are predictable because you are present for most (if not all) of the time the mediator spends on your case.
Maintains Privacy.Mediation is a private process which usually takes place at the Dispute Resolution Centre rather than in a public courtroom. Generally speaking, mediation clients are allowed to decide what goes into the paperwork (which still becomes public record). In litigated cases you often have ugly allegations and personal information that ends up in the public record, whereas mediation allows you to avoid that.
Preservation of Relationships.Whether in business or in family disputes, preservation of relationships can be a key benefit of mediation. Mediation helps participants focus on effectively communicating with one another as opposed to attacking one another.
Greater Client Satisfaction.Mediation participants report a high degree of satisfaction with both the process of mediation and the mediated agreements they reach. Even if a litigation client is satisfied with the outcome, they are typically dissatisfied with the cost, stress, uncertainty and acrimony associated with litigation. Further, if one litigant is happy with the outcome, that usually means the other litigant is unhappy and may file an appeal.
The Mediation Process
Fees for mediation range from $10,000.00 to $30,000.00 plus VAT per day.
Steps 1-4 may be completed in 2-4 weeks
All costs are to be shared equally by the parties and covers the following:1. Mediators fee for preparation and conduct of the mediation session.
2. Selecting the appropriate Mediators from the DRC roster of expert Mediators.
3. Mediation preparation including liaising with the attorneys and the mediator, managing
the exchange of documents and scheduling the mediation sessions.
4. The dedicated mediation space including private meeting rooms for up to 5 hours.
5. Dedicated DRC resource on-hand during the proceedings to provide administrative support.
6. Wireless internet connection, laptop and multi-media projector.
7. Light refreshments and tea service (up to 12 Persons).
8. Convenient, secure parking.