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Mediation

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a way to settle disputes or lawsuits outside of court. In mediation, a neutral third party - the mediator - helps the disputing parties look for a solution that works for them.

Mediators do not decide cases or impose settlements. The mediator's role is to help the people involved in a dispute to communicate and negotiate with each other in a constructive manner, to gain a better understanding of the interests of all parties, and to find a resolution based on common understanding and mutual agreement.

The purpose of mediation is not to determine who wins and who loses, but to develop creative solutions to disputes in a way that is not possible at a trial.

What are the benefits of Mediation?

Mediation can help parties resolve disputes faster, saving them time and money. Generally, the best solution to a problem is one negotiated by the parties themselves. Mediation offers the parties a chance to craft a solution that meets their needs. Many people find mediation more satisfying than a trial because they play an active role in resolving their dispute, rather than having a solution determined by a judge.

The mediation process is informal and completely confidential. Parties in mediation may speak more openly than in court. Many people find mediation a more comfortable and constructive process than a trial.

In situations where the parties have an ongoing relationship, mediation is helpful because it promotes cooperative problem-solving and improved communications.

Mandatory versus Voluntary Mediation

Under rule 24.1 of the Rules of Civil Procedure (Ontario) governing the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, most civil actions in Toronto, Windsor and Ottawa are subject to mandatory mediation. Certain civil actions, such as family law cases, are excluded from mandatory mediation.

Your case may not be subject to mandatory mediation, or you may not have even started litigation. In those situations, a good option to resolve your dispute, is voluntary mediation. Either way, the same guiding principles and goals apply to the mediation – to assist the parties in crafting a resolution that everyone finds value in.

What style of Mediation do I practice?

I practise Evaluative Mediation which means that I give my opinion on the weaknesses and strengths on each side and what a possible result may be at trial. I always ask counsel and the parties for permission to use the evaluative style. In all the mediations I have conducted, I have found that the parties and their lawyers appreciate the evaluative style.

What types of files do I mediate?

The files I mediate include Employment, Insurance, Disability, Human Rights, Business law and general Civil matters. I do not mediate Family Law or Personal Injury matters.

What Mediation training do I have?

My entire legal career plus specialized training in mediation has prepared me to an effective mediator. I have been a practising lawyer since 1988 when I was called to the Bar of Ontario. Since then, I have practised litigation, mediation, and arbitration in a variety of areas including employment law, disability, personal injury, insurance, civil, commercial, human rights, to name a few.

From 2003 to 2021, I sat as a Deputy Judge, Small Claims Court (Halton). During my time on the bench, I conducted 1,500 Settlement Conferences which is very similar to private mediation but conducted over a much shorter amount of time. In a private mediation, we have as much time as is needed to help you resolve your matter.

In 2008, I obtained a Certificate of Achievement after completing the ADR Workshop, an intensive four-day workshop in Alternative Dispute Resolution, a project of the Faculty of Law, University of Windsor. Since then, I have successfully conducted many mediations.

To discuss your Mediation needs, please call me at 905-257-7714.

Please fill out the form to begin a discussion with Leslie today:





Core Beliefs

I strive each day to live and work by one principle - treat others as I would want to be treated. In my practice, that translates into 4 key values:

I do what I say I will do and I am honest and transparent at all times with clients, staff, opposing counsel, the court and anyone else. I provide my clients with an honest assessment of their case. If I make a commitment to a client, I keep it. Integrity also means that my clients know before they retain me what my fee structure is. If a client appears unsure of whether or not to retain me or what to do, I tell them to go home and think about it first.

Integrity

Employees having difficulty at the workplace are often in considerable emotional distress when they arrive at my office. Employers can be as well. Employment issues involve human interactions, which necessarily involve emotions that sometimes need healing. I enjoy helping my employee clients think and feel differently about their situations. I also enjoy helping employers understand that their employees need to be treated with respect, dignity, kindness and fairness, no matter what is going on.

Compassion

I have an organized and logical mind that works like a trip hammer, especially in court. I can very quickly sort out the relevant facts and issues in order to resolve my client's cases efficiently. Excellence also means to approach matters with a large measure of practicality, always thinking about what is best for my client and their family and/or business. Finally, excellence also means behaving with civility. I have learned to be hard on the issues and soft on the people - a winning combination.

Excellence

I have also been blessed with discernment and intuition that allows me to often "know" what is really going on with my clients. Equally, my own life journey has led me through difficulties in personal relationships so I understand how upsetting a broken employment relationship is. My own struggles married with discernment and intuition allows me to treat my client holistically, not just legally. This is the thing that sets me apart from most other lawyers, so say my clients.

Wisdom