Mandatory Mediation in Toronto
Mandatory mediation is required for all legal actions in Toronto and Ottawa. In a mediation the parties meet with their lawyers and a neutral facilitator to discuss their case. The purpose of the mediation is to explore the opportunity of reaching a settlement. This will avoid further litigation and its cost.
The parties will decide when the mediation takes place. However mediation must take place before the action can be certified as ready for trial. Mandatory mediation can take place at an early stage of the law suit thereby providing the parties an opportunity to resolve their differences before a great deal of expense is incurred. In many cases the parties defer the timing of the mediation to allow themselves time to obtain enough information to properly evaluate the chances of success or failure.
The Mandatory Mediation Hearing
Once the parties agree to mediate they will jointly select a mediator. If agreement on a mediator cannot be reached the court will assign a mediator from a roster list. Prior to the mandatory mediation the parties will exchange mediation briefs. The briefs will contain the key documents of the case as well as a position paper setting out the key facts and arguments the party wishes to make in support of his or her case. At the mediation itself each party will also make an oral presentation that may expand on or emphasize the arguments put forward in the mediation brief. After the oral presentations are concluded the parties will separate into caucus. The mediator will then engage in shuttle diplomacy in an effort to have the parties exchange offers to resolve the case. Typically this will result in a series of offers and counter offers. Very often this will result in a settlement.
In a complex case it is not unusual that the parties will not be able to arrive at a settlement at the mandatory mediation. They may agree hold a second voluntary mediation at a later stage of the action. The second mediation can very often result in a settlement if the parties have addressed the reasons why the mandatory mediation was unsuccessful.
As our client, we involve you in the preparation and presentation of your case at mediation. Our experience informs us that the mediation has a better chance of succeeding if you are part of the goal setting and presentation at the mediation. If you wish to discuss how our services may assist you at mediation you make contact us for a free consultation.