Preparing for Mediation

Preparing for a Mediation: What You Need to Know

Mediation in Ontario is a well-recognized process for resolving disputes, aiming to assist conflicting parties in reaching a mutually acceptable agreement. 

In this article, we will discuss the concept of mediation, its key benefits, and tips to keep in mind for a successful mediation.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is an informal, voluntary, and flexible process where two or more parties in a legal dispute come together to try and settle the dispute. These parties, accompanied by their respective legal representatives, come together in a collaborative environment alongside a neutral third party, known as the mediator. The mediator acts as a facilitator, ensuring a fair and balanced negotiation process while maintaining impartiality throughout.

When mediation begins, the mediator usually delivers an opening statement, setting the tone for the session. Afterwards, the parties and their lawyers are usually placed in separate breakout rooms to engage in private discussions.

While mediation cannot guarantee resolution in every case, its primary objective is to facilitate a settlement between the parties. This is achieved through detailed discussions regarding each party’s case merits and their respective settlement positions. The mediator encourages open communication and assists in identifying common ground to reach a mutually agreeable solution. The mediator cannot give legal advice or make a final decision.

In Ontario, under Rule 24.1 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, mediation is mandatory for civil actions at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Toronto, Ottawa, and the County of Essex, with some exceptions.  

Mediation can take place before or after Discoveries, or even before litigation has commenced.

For proceedings with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, mediation is optional and requires agreement from the parties. In such cases, however, the parties do not have control over the selection of the mediator, and the cost is typically covered by the tribunal.

Advantages of Mediation

Mediation offers numerous advantages over traditional litigation. Here are some of the benefits of taking part in mediation:

  • Confidential and Private Environment: provides a confidential space for parties to discuss sensitive matters openly, fostering honesty and effective exploration of interests and needs.
  • Empowerment of Parties: allows parties to have control over the outcome; empowering them to actively participate in crafting their own creative solutions.
  • Cost-Effective Alternative: is generally less time-consuming and resource-intensive than litigation, allowing parties to save on escalating legal fees and promote a cooperative atmosphere that reduces stress.
  • Tailored Resolutions: leads to customized resolutions that address each parties’ unique needs, allowing them to actively shape a solution that suits their specific circumstances.
  • Enhancing Ongoing Relationships: promotes cooperative problem-solving and communication, making it valuable for parties with continuing relationships as it can help maintain functional ties even after resolving the dispute.

Mediation encourages parties to assess the strengths, weaknesses, and costs of their cases. Mediation clarifies the disputed issues, facilitating more focused and efficient trials. 

Furthermore, mediation allows parties and their legal representatives to refine strategies, present arguments effectively, and enhance the overall efficiency of the legal system.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our Experienced Employment Lawyers

Contact us by phone toll-free at 1-866-561-2176 or email us at [email protected], and we will be happy to assist.

5 Tips to Consider Regarding Mediation

    1. Assess your Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA)
      Before entering mediation, consider your alternatives if the mediation fails. Identify different courses of action, consider their value, and determine the lowest acceptable settlement you would be willing to accept. This analysis helps define your goals and manage expectations.
    2. Be clear and flexible in your goals
      Cooperation and a focus on fair resolution are vital for successful mediation. Express your concerns and actively listen to the other side’s perspective.
    3. Have an open discussion regarding the issues
      Mediation is an inclusive process where parties, their lawyers, and the mediator engage in discussions to resolve issues. Confidentiality is key, allowing each party to freely express their position and interests without fear of adverse consequences. Honest discussions about grievances can lead to mutually acceptable solutions.
    4. Understand the mediator’s role
      Mediators facilitate negotiation processes but do not make decisions or take sides. They question and critique both parties’ positions while aiming to achieve consensus. Mediators may offer recommendations, but parties are free to reject them. It is essential to understand that mediators are impartial facilitators, not arbitrators or judges.
    5. Consider seeking legal representation
      While mediation is often voluntary, having a lawyer can provide valuable support. Lawyers can explain the process, advise on settlement offers, review settlement agreements, and help with enforcement.

By following these tips and considering the factors involved in mediation, parties can increase their chances of coming to a mutually agreeable resolution.


Mediation provides parties with an alternative and effective method for resolving disputes. By understanding the key elements and benefits of mediation, parties can approach the process with confidence. 

Mediation offers several advantages, including a confidential and private environment, empowerment of parties, and cost-effectiveness. It allows for tailored resolutions and the preservation of ongoing relationships. 

To ensure a successful mediation, parties should assess their alternatives, set clear and flexible goals, engage in open discussions, understand the mediator’s role, and consider seeking legal representation. 

Contact Us

If you have an upcoming mediation or are wondering whether mediation is right for you in your matter, our team of experienced workplace lawyers at Achkar Law can help. Contact us by phone toll-free at +1 (800) 771-7882 or email us at [email protected], and we would be happy to assist.

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