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FAQ's

What is Mediation?

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a process in which parties to a conflict voluntarily participate in a joint effort to reach a settlement. A neutral third party, the mediator, facilitates the communication between the parties, addresses the barriers to resolution and helps fashion a settlement to which all the parties can agree. Mediation is a voluntary, confidential, low cost, problem-solving process that promotes respectful and constructive communication for managing conflict between two or more individuals. The mediator helps the parties define the issues and reach a mutually acceptable agreement by providing structure and guidance to a discussion of concerns and solutions.

Why mediate?

Why mediate?

Mediation gives parties an opportunity to discuss their dispute, generate ideas for managing it, and decide together what the solution will be. Unlike arbitration or a grievance, a solution is never imposed by an outside party. The parties themselves always identify the concerns and propose solutions. Mediation is a proven way to de-escalate conflict, aid in communication and mutual understanding, maintain privacy and informality and reduce time and expense.

How does mediation differ from arbitration?

How does mediation differ from arbitration?

Is there a role for my lawyer?

Is there a role for my lawyer?

Your lawyer can play an important role by advising you, clarifying legal issues and helping to draw up agreements. In litigation matters, most often the parties’ lawyers are present and participate in the mediation. At the Centre for Innovative Dispute Resolution we work closely with parties and their lawyers to further the shared goal of resolution.

Do you receive a percentage of the settlement?

Do you receive a percentage of the settlement?

No. Mediators work on an hourly fee basis. This fee can be paid by one or both parties in any sharing arrangement they agree upon. In some cases a fixed fee rate can be agreed upon instead.

If we reach a settlement, is it legally binding?

If we reach a settlement, is it legally binding?

Yes, either the mediation will close with a signed agreement or the lawyers for the parties will commit to ending the lawsuit with a formal settlement and release agreement.

How is a mediation agreement enforced?

How is a mediation agreement enforced?

The agreement is as good as the parties themselves. By reaching their own agreement to the dispute, the parties are more likely to adhere to the agreement. There is no "authority" other than good faith and good intention to "enforce" the agreement.

What level of confidentiality is required of the parties and the mediator?

What level of confidentiality is required of the parties and the mediator?

Confidentiality is essential to the success of mediations and therefore must be preserved to the maximum extent possible. The mediator and the parties agree not to voluntarily discuss the contents of the session with others without the express consent of all parties.

Can the mediator be asked to testify?

Can the mediator be asked to testify?

In the Confidentiality Agreement, all parties agree not to call the mediator as a witness in any future administrative or judicial proceedings.

What about follow-up?

What about follow-up?

The mediator can contact the parties to assess the implementation of the agreement. Follow-up sessions can be scheduled as needed.

What if we can’t reach agreement?

What if we can’t reach agreement?

The mediator can contact the parties to assess the implementation of the agreement. Follow-up sessions can be scheduled as needed.