Trusted, expert mediation and arbitration lawyers in London, Ontario.
At Fosters Law, we will always consider alternative dispute resolution processes before rushing off to court. We have been involved in thousands of alternative dispute resolutions and can help you get the best possible resolution for your case.
Alternative Dispute Resolution In Ontario
When most people think of legal disputes, they think of courtrooms and litigation proceedings. However, not all legal disputes are battled out in court. In fact, the best lawyers are usually the ones who know when to avoid court.
Taking matters to court can be incredibly costly and time-consuming. As such, there are several alternative methods to resolve legal disputes to consider first.
Initially, most alternate dispute resolution proceedings were used in family law matters. Now, however, they are common in almost all practice areas of law and are widely used in commercial law and personal injury cases. They are becoming increasingly popular as a faster, more cost-effective alternative to court. The most common alternative dispute resolution processes are mediation and arbitration.
The mediation process is one of the most common methods of alternative dispute resolution and often forms part of the litigation process.
Mediation proceedings aim to get all the parties to agree on an outcome. If all the parties agree on an outcome, then they are bound to their agreement. It is the parties’ agreement, and not any determination made by a third party, that binds them.
If the parties do not agree on an outcome, then the mediation process is considered unsuccessful. The parties to the mediation proceedings can then proceed with arbitration or litigation.
An accredited mediator facilitates this process. They guide the parties through the mediation. The mediator must be a neutral and impartial third party. A mediator cannot make decisions, find fault, or issue orders. Instead, they merely help the parties come to their own agreement.
Mediation is used in many different practice areas, including family law, insurance law and personal injury law. It is typically more time and cost-effective than other avenues of dispute resolution.
Arbitration is another popular method of alternative dispute resolution. It is a lot more formal than mediation proceedings. Arbitration also more closely resembles a trial (although it is less formal than a trial).
Unlike mediation, the parties involved in arbitration do not decide on the outcome of the dispute. Instead, this is done by an arbitrator (who plays a similar role to a judge in court proceedings). The arbitrator is an objective, impartial third party. There are different methods used to appoint arbitrators. Generally, the parties will have to agree on which arbitrator to use or which method to use to appoint the arbitrator.
The outcome of the arbitration is more binding than mediation, and cannot be changed unilaterally by one party. The arbitrator’s decision is final and binding, subject to any right of appeal detailed in the arbitration agreement.
Arbitration is widely used in many different areas of law. It is commonly used to deal with employment matters, family law, and insurance law. International arbitration is often used to resolve cross-border disputes.