MANDATORY MEDIATION (November 27, 2020)

Mediation is a type of Alternate Dispute resolution in which a neutral, third party assists opposing sides in a dispute. It is governed under rule 24.1 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, RRO 1990, Reg. 194. It’s ideal for any case to settle out of Court and avoid trial – litigation procedures can be lengthy and expensive. Mediation attempts to reduce cost and labour by resolving issues without going to Court.

You may be wondering if Mediation is mandatory. The short answer is yes – Mediation is mandatory for all proceedings that are cased managed (under Rule 77 of the RCP) and almost all actions commenced in Toronto, Ottawa and Windsor. It was first introduced as a way to control the exceedingly high volume of court cases these areas experience. The results of Mediation seemed generally successful, and as of January 2010, it became law to require mediation for any court cases commenced in these counties (you may seek exemptions with the Court).

Some types of cases have their own rules on mediation and case management. These cases include estate litigation, commercial list cases, mortgage actions, class actions, and others.

You may assume that a Mediator has to be a lawyer, but Mediators do not require any legal background. However, there are training courses available for individuals who wish to develop the skills necessary for mediation. Each county has a mediation committee whose focus is to develop criteria for mediation candidates based on their background and performance history.

Clients have the option of choosing a mediator from this list, or they may appoint their own mediator (as long as every party involved consents to the choice). If they are unable to decided, the mediation coordinator may assign one from their list. When choosing a Mediator, clients should consider the following:

  • Where they trained;
  • What experience they have;
  • Their familiarity with Court processes;
  • Their role in a civil proceeding; and
  • What the mediator’s fees are.

A mediation session must be held within 180 days after the first defence is filed, unless all parties consent to postponement or the Court changes the time requirement.

Mediators must adhere to regulation when charging fees; there is a maximum limit per hour Parties share the cost of the mediator’s fee. Mediation can be provided at no cost to clients who have a legal aid certificate or meets certain financial requirements.

At Empel Law, it is our goal to ensure your case is handled with the utmost care. Give Arkadiusz J. Empel and his trained legal professionals a call at 416-500-1937.