Mediation Process

Mediation process in Ontario

Mediation can save tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees shorten a legal dispute and alleviate emotional stress. It is an excellent tool to settle a dispute even if it is not mandatory. It is however mandatory in most estate disputes in Toronto, Ottawa, and Essex County. The mediation process needs to be clear to the parties involved to ensure effective participation in the process. Many people have never been involved in estate litigation.

The parties are encouraged to settle the matter throughout the litigation process in order to reduce legal costs. At some point in time, a mediation will have to be scheduled. The parties will agree on a date and on a mediator to be booked. The mediator is a third party who is neutral to the dispute. The mediator’s role is to facilitate dialogue and settlement. The mediator may be a lawyer with experience in estate law, a professional mediator, or a retired Judge.

When the date is set and a mediator is chosen, the parties will exchange mediation briefs. The parties will set out facts and issues in dispute in order to be prepared for the process. The mediator will also get copies of the mediation briefs.

Prior to the commencement of the mediation, the mediator will set out the rules of conduct. He will advise the parties as to the confidential nature of the mediation and that they must negotiate in good faith. It is important to foster productive discussion so that time is not wasted.

During the mediation, the parties are encouraged to discuss the issues openly. The discussions that take place during the mediation remain confidential. They cannot be brought up at a later date during the litigation process if no settlement is reached or during subsequent Court appearances and steps such as a trial.

Mediation saves the parties time and costs

For a mediation to be successful, the parties involved must be willing to compromise. The mediation is not a mini-trial on the merits of the case. The mediator is not at the mediation to provide a binding ruling. The lawyers must work to ensure the parties at the mediation have reasonable expectations about the process. The parties involved will have to make concessions.

Making concessions at the mediation stage may be more practical and cost-effective than proceeding to trial. A trial involves significant risks and costs for all the parties involved. Furthermore, it can result in a total loss on all issues for one side.

Finally, in addition to the significant financial costs associated with a trial, the parties involved in preparing for and attending a trial will likely experience the significant emotional toll associated with protracted estate litigation. A Court decision on the issues is published to the public. In rendering a decision, Judges normally provide a detailed chronology of all the facts involved in the case.

This may expose embarrassing information about the parties involved. Mediation allows the parties of the dispute to settle the matter and keep the embarrassing internal affairs private through the signing of a confidentiality agreement among the parties of the dispute. Hiring a mediator with estate litigation experience can be very helpful in obtaining the results you are entitled to.

Charles Ticker is a qualified mediator with extensive experience in estate litigation matters. He brings a unique combination of experience and knowledge to any estate dispute. He can assist you with your estate dispute with his knowledge and experience in estate law.


To schedule a mediation call us toll free at: 1 (866) 677-7746