Mediation is a voluntary, non-binding process using a neutral third party to guide the parties toward a mutually beneficial resolution of their dispute. Unlike an arbitrator, who can impose a decision, the mediator helps the parties to decide for themselves whether to settle and on what terms. The mediator acts as a catalyst for the process, helping parties reach agreement by identifying issues, exploring possible bases for agreement and the consequences of not settling and encouraging each party to accommodate the interest of the other parties. It is a cooperative, interest-based approach to conflict resolution.
Mediation has several advantages, particularly when utilized early in in the life of a lawsuit:
- Because more than 90% of all cases settle, early mediation enables parties to a dispute to evaluate a case early and encourages the early resolution of the matter before undue time, energy and money are expended and before litigation takes on a life of its own.
- Mediation is voluntary; nothing happens without the parties’ consent. The parties retain a high degree of control. Each party retains the right to withdraw at any time.
- Mediation does not involve a decision imposed by a judge or an arbitrator. Rather, the parties to a dispute, guided by the mediator, craft their own solutions which effectively meet their needs and interests.
- All communications in mediation are privileged and cannot be used as evidence. The parties control disclosure to the mediator and whether and to what extent matters disclosed to the mediator may be disclosed to other participants in the process.
- Mediation allows for creative solutions to the parties’ dispute, often allowing all parties to come away from the mediation process with benefits unavailable through litigation or arbitration. Parties work together to “make the pie bigger”.
- The use of a mediator promotes reasonable dialogue by taking the bravado and posturing out of the settlement discussions. The emphasis is on working together to solve the joint problem.
- In the less than 10% of cases that do not settle in the mediation process, the parties benefit from refined discovery, early witness evaluation and streamlined trial preparation reducing litigation costs significantly.
Civil & Commercial
Agree Mediator all have 20+ years of experience in civil and commercial mediation. They have successfully mediated 2 party and multi-party matters including business and commercial disputes, personal injury, disability and general insurance claims, construction labour relations, human rights, partnership disputes, estates, real estate and land use matters. Lawyers, please contact Alison Kirk for more information or to book a mediation.
Problems and disagreements arise in most major construction projects. Too many of these challenges will result in needless litigation. Leading authorities in Ontario assert that the cost of litigating a construction claim with a value of $100,000.00 or less will typically exceed the value of what is at issue in the claim. The time required to get the matter on to trial and obtain resolution (assuming that there are no appeals and no need to use enforcement proceeds to obtain payment on a Judgment) will frequently exceed the time spent actually completing the construction on the project.
Construction Mediation through Agree Dispute Resolution can solve many of these problems for you. Mediation is typically quicker and less expensive. It allows the players in the construction industry to maintain control over the resolution of their dispute and more importantly, empowers them to do what people in the construction sector do best — problem solve for optimal outcomes.
Workplace Mediation is a confidential, informal and voluntary process whereby an impartial Mediator facilitates communication between those in dispute to assist them in developing mutually acceptable agreements to improve their future working relationship. Mediation can be effective in both union and non-union settings and at all levels of the organization.
Agree provides analysis and intervention services to assist organizations experiencing internal conflict or relationships in crisis. These situations may arise between departments in the same organization or between management and staff. The relationship between interdependant elements of the organization has or threatens to become dysfunctional. The status quo is often characterized by a lack of effective communication, absence of mutual trust and respect and an “us versus them” attitude on the part of all involved.
Agree’s approach recognizes that not all conflict can be resolved — but there is always an appropriate next step. Agree works with the parties to identify and implement that next step. Agree meets with the necessary parties to analyze the elements of the conflict and condition the parties to accept a cooperative, interest based approach to addressing the challenges.
Family mediation is a co-operative problem solving process in which a neutral third party, the mediator, assists separating and divorcing spouses to work out their own, mutually acceptable, terms of separation.
Even though the conflict between the parties may be very emotional, it is expected that the parties will come to mediation with an honest desire to reach a settlement that is fair to both and workable in practice. The participants in mediation must be prepared to be flexible in moving away from their initial positions to seek solutions which meet as many of their mutual interests as possible.
Mediation is voluntary, and either party is free to withdraw from mediation at any time during the process. In certain circumstances, the mediator may terminate the process, when he or she believes that mediation is not appropriate or useful for the parties.