Mediation is an alternative to the adversarial form of dispute resolution used for centuries to settle disputes. Mediation is not a trial, arbitration or adjudication, in which a court, person or board formally determines the rights and obligations of parties and imposes a decision on them. Mediators are neutral third parties who facilitate settlement discussions in an informal setting, to help seek constructive and mutually acceptable solutions to conflicts.
The Ontario Mandatory Mediation Program, started in 1999, is governed by Rule 24.1 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. Rule 24.1 requires cases in some Ontario jurisdictions to be mediated after the exchange of legal pleadings. These are known as "court-connected" or "mandatory" or "Rule 24" mediations.
Finding a Mediator – The Choice Can Be Yours
For private mediations (not court-connected) you should select the mediator whose credentials and experience best match the issues that need resolution. For court-connected mediations, the parties' lawyers have the opportunity to choose a mediator within 30 days after the first Defence is filed. If the lawyers fail to do so, a mediator will be assigned from the Ontario Attorney General’s Roster of Mediators, without any input from the lawyers or the parties as to the selection of mediator.
ADR Ottawa mediators handle private mediations, as well as mediations under the Ontario
Mandatory Mediation Program. Since 2001, we have handled many hundreds of court-connected
mediations. Those who wish to select an ADR Ottawa mediator in court-connected cases, should do
so not later than 30 days after the first Defence is filed (e.g., Notice of Intent to Defend or
Statement of Defence) using a Form 24.1A.
You can easily arrange mediations or arbitrations with ADR Ottawa by using our convenient online calendar or you may contact us to inquire about availability.
The ADR Ottawa Mediation Process
Mediations are conducted “without prejudice” in a confidential manner that encourages parties to communicate with each other in a spirit of openness and candour. ADR Ottawa provides a mediation agreement, which reflect these principles for all mediations, whether they are court-connected or non-litigation matters.
Mandatory Mediations are not required to exceed three hours but the parties may continue beyond that time. After the basic three-hour period, ADR Ottawa’s fees are based on an hourly rate. In non-mandatory mediations, the parties may determine the number of sessions they will need and their duration.
Mediations may be held in the offices of the lawyers for the parties, at the local courthouse using designated rooms, at a court reporter’s offices or other off-site facilities. Kindly contact us to discuss issues related to the location of the mediation.
Settlements are created, approved or declined by the parties and their lawyers. If a settlement
cannot be reached, ADR Ottawa mediators will help narrow the issues, so the next time the parties
discuss settlement, a resolution is more likely. In other words, the end of a mediation session is not
necessarily the end of the settlement process. If an agreement is reached, ADR Ottawa has draft
settlement agreements that may be used to document the terms of the settlement.