FAQ's About Mediation

What is mediation?
In the mediation process a neutral, impartial third party (the mediator) helps both parties in a conflict to try to reach a mutually agreeable outcome. The mediator assists the parties in focusing on legitimate interests, overcoming impediments to reaching an agreement and bringing the conflict to closure.

Why would parties in conflict chose to engage in mediation?
Mediation is one form of Alternative Dispute Resolution. The "alternative" is that mediation provides a viable option for resolving a dispute without going to court. Excalibur provides mediation services covering an area (Kingston, Brockville, Cornwall, Perth, Smiths Falls Belleville, Port Hope, Peterborough) in which mediation of disputes is currently not a mandatory step. Although mediation is currently not mandatory, parties should give serious consideration to enquiring about voluntary mediation as a potential means of resolving a conflict quickly rather than entering lengthy, costly and damaging court proceedings.

How long does a mediation session last?
A mediation session typically takes a half-day. If a final, binding settlement is not reached at the end of a half-day session but it looks hopeful that a satisfactory settlement can be reached, the parties may choose to request an extension of the session or to schedule another session to build on the progress of the initial session.

How much does it cost to purchase mediation services?
The cost for various conflicts to be mediated will vary considerably, depending on the complexity of the issue(s) to be resolved (which translates into the amount of time required). An initial assessment will be provided by Excalibur at no charge to the potential client. Following the initial (free) assessment, applicable fees for any further work will be clearly outlined in writing to the potential client before moving forward.

When a settlement is reached, is it binding and enforceable?
If an agreement can be reached among the parties, then a resolution agreement will be drafted to reflect those terms. The terms within the Resolution Agreement, once signed, will then become binding on both parties.

Can information that is disclosed during mediation sessions be used later on in court if the mediation fails to resolve the conflict?
No. Information revealed by either party during mediation is confidential and "without prejudice", meaning that all statements and documents involved in the mediation process are protected from being used for any other purpose. Prior to the mediation, both parties, their counsels and the mediator will all have signed a document agreeing to treat all information disclosed by either party during mediation as confidential and without prejudice.

Can I have my lawyer attend a mediation session on my behalf without actually attending myself?
No. You can have your lawyer attend in addition to (but not instead of) yourself. It is crucial that each party provide a person with the authority to agree to a final, binding settlement which will bring the dispute to closure.