As a non legal family and civil mediator, I am often surprised that folks choose to only consider litigation for family and civil matters. Mediation can provide a framework to come up with an agreement which becomes a legally binding document upon due process, including independent legal advice.
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Yes, the system has created a monster that constantly requires feeding $'s. Sadly, when clients here in BC go to a lawyer they are advised about other options but, in many cases the way the advice is given does not promote this action be followed.
A mediator must always be an independent neutral third party. Mediation is a voluntary process and parties always have the option to choose litigation instead. Mediated agreements that follow due process can become legally binding agreements.
I didn't think a mediator/arbitrator has the power to find guilt or innocence do they? Doesn't that have be done under the normal rules of evidence which mediation, to some extent, ignores?
When you have a judge as arbitrator a lot can happen when a criminal charge is part of the arbitration they can exclude it. You can still file with the police but that can be self defeating. It was complicated more than I want to get into here.
Don't confuse mediation and arbitration as they are two completely different process - mediation is usually non-binding and you can walk away from that process if the need arises but arbitration is final (and can also be very costly).
Mediation is different from arbitration and a judge is not present in mediation. Any mediator or arbitrator must follow the legal process and should recommend independent legal advice before any document is signed and or presented before a judge.