Binding Mediation in Ottawa

Litigation (the process of taking legal action through the court system) can take a lot of time and money. Sometimes, when a legal dispute arises you don’t want to deal with the courts. When this is the case, many people turn to arbitration as their form of conflict resolution.

Mediation-arbitration is the settlement of a dispute between parties to a contract by a neutral third-party mediator-arbitrator without resorting to court action. The mediation-arbitration is a hybrid process combining to dispute resolution methods. This process starts with mediation and in the event that the parties are unable to reach an agreement, they will proceed to an arbitration at which time the arbitrator’s award is legally binding for the disputing parties. The parties may represent themselves throughout this process or may be represented by a lawyer.

Julie I. Guindon, Barrister & Solicitor, Mediator & Arbitrator offers her services for mediation-arbitration in Ottawa to anyone seeking to reach a legal resolution without the involvement of the courts.

Mediation-Arbitration (Binding Mediation) Services in Ottawa
While performed in a private office building rather than a courtroom, arbitration is legally binding. This means that the arbitrator’s award is final and binding upon the parties. The steps of the arbitration process are as follows:

  • Mediation – a neutral facilitator will assist the parties in discovering and determining their options to settle part or all of their issues. If the parties are at an impasse or unable to reach an agreement on some or all of their issues, the parties proceed to an arbitration.
  • Arbitration – document outlining each party’s view of the facts
    • Pre-Hearing – conducted by the arbitrator and the parties (or their lawyers) to confirm the issues to be determined in the arbitration, any preliminary matter should be dealt with, discussion on the number of witnesses, brief summary of their evidence, the place, the time and the duration of the arbitration.
    • Hearing - conducted by the arbitrator, during the hearing each party presents opening statements, evidence, witness testimonial and final arguments
    • Award – after considering all of the above information, the arbitrator issues an award which may include costs. 

Why Choose Mediation-Arbitration in Ottawa
There are many reasons people are now referring to mediation-arbitration rather than the courts. Arbitration offers many benefits over litigation, because arbitration is:

  • Faster – generally there is no delay between readiness for trial and hearing date, and a tight schedule can be established to ensure a quick hearing. 
  • Less expensive – in litigation parties pay filing fees, copy fees, response filing fees and more, which are not required in arbitration. 
  • More flexible – arbitration can be scheduled around the needs and availabilities of the parties involved, making it more flexible than mandated court dates.

Parties have greater control in arbitration matters because they can choose their arbitrator as well as when, where and how the matter will be decided. Arbitration can also help parties avoid hostility, because they are usually encouraged to participate fully in and even help structure the resolution. If you think your legal dispute would be better handled through mediation-arbitration in Ottawa rather than litigation, contact Julie I. Guindon.
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