Fair Practice


Our popular dispute resolution questions answered

Dispute Resolution

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the Mediator?

The mediator is an impartial third party who controls the process of meditation. The mediator does not represent any party or is in a relationship with a party or has had a relationship with a party so as to ensure that there is no conflict of interest in the process. So, your lawyer cannot be your mediator. The mediator must be appointed and agreed to by all parties. Always check the credentials of your mediator to ensure that the mediator is suitable for your dispute. The mediator must have expert knowledge on the issues in dispute.

The mediator must not influence the outcome in any way by telling the parties who will win or lose their “case”. The mediator instead will assist the parties evaluate their options and alternatives by using effective communication skills that will bring the parties closer to agreement. In some instances the mediator will assist the parties narrow the issues that are mediatable and others that are likely to reach settlement through a court or arbitration.

I heard mediation is like therapy, what will I expect in the mediation process?

Mediation is an ancillary legal process, it may feel awkward and uncomfortable in the beginning because there is no formal setting like a courtroom. Instead, the mediator creates a safe space for the disputants to express their concerns and address any underlying emotions that may be holding the disputants back from reaching resolution by using joint and individual sessions where appropriate.

Our experienced mediators use communication skills that go deeper into understanding what the disputants believe are their best and worst case scenarios. At Fair Practice we have an added feature to our mediation service where our clients can choose to attend therapy sessions with our affiliated mental health team in parallel to attending mediation, to work through any emotional challenges they may be experiencing that could hinder the mediation process and affect the outcome.

What if we have already started court proceedings, can we still mediate?

Yes you can. Mediation can be used at any stage of the dispute. Mediation will narrow any issues where agreement can be reached outside the courtroom. In most instances we find that once parties begin mediation on some issues, even after serving summons, they stay in mediation till agreement has been reached on all issues. This saves them time and costs spent in litigation and disputants can still approach the court to have their agreement made a court order. The courts look favourably at disputants who attempt mediation.

I really want to fight my battles out in court but my lawyer says I should try mediation, should I?

Your lawyer is aware that the rules of the courts require for parties to seriously consider attending mediation before approaching the court for a trial. There is no prejudice to you or your lawyer if you attend mediation. The intention for using mediation will at the very least narrow the issues in dispute alternatively the mediator will be able to find the middle ground for all of you to begin negotiating a mutually beneficial agreement. This will save time and costs from the outset. The mediator will be working directly with you, the parties, to create a path to understanding your interests, needs and concerns that has placed you all in this dispute. The mediation process is voluntary and flexible, if there are any oustanding issues that cannot be resolved between yourselves through mediation you will still have the option to go to court for a decision to be made for you.

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