Achieving a Meaningful Resolution of your Issues

“I was never ruined but twice; once when I lost a lawsuit and once when I won one.”

French philosopher Voltaire wrote those words three centuries ago. They are just as relevant now as then. Using conflict to resolve conflict, the foundation of our adversarial litigation system, often cuts both ways.

So why litigate if you can mediate?

Upwards of 97 per cent of litigation cases will be resolved through a settlement. Odds are, your case will never go to trial.

But a settlement born in the pressure cooker of an impending trial is a resolution achieved under duress. It’s likely a rushed outcome that came at the expense of canvassing all the possible avenues for your client.

Opting for mediation from the start, on the other hand, ensures the fairest possible outcome – for all parties. It avoids the waste of time and resources preparing for a trial that will in all likelihood not occur.

Mediation is a structured, yet flexible, process that gives your client control over their destiny. They are empowered to arrive at a fair outcome, instead of abdicating authority over their affairs to a judge or jury.

The heart of true mediation

Too often, lawyers will seek out a subject-matter expert as a mediator when the goal should be to focus on the individual’s expertise in mediation.

An effective mediator does not bias the proceedings with his or her own opinion, or provide an evaluation, unless asked to do so. He or she must keep to a facilitative role, otherwise, the autonomy of the parties involved may be undermined. They will gravitate to the mediator’s solution, instead of arriving at their own. In that case, they might just as well have relied on a judge.

Our goal in mediations is to arrive at a “durable” settlement that will hold up to legal challenge and won’t leave residual resentment among either party. Settlements that leave a bitter taste, particularly where family is involved, only prime the pump for further conflict down the road.

A neutral participant can offer suggestions and make observations that either party may not wish to voice for fear of being perceived as weak or uncommitted. He or she can ask questions that open doors to opportunities for resolution that may not have otherwise been considered.

“Justice” is not the outcome. Neither is determining a “winner” or a “loser.” What is most fair for everyone is my chief concern.

If you believe our approach can benefit your client, let’s talk.

 

About Peter Cronyn

Peter Cronyn is a litigation lawyer and mediator. Peter believes mediation provides the best opportunity for parties to determine their own informed, imaginative and durable resolution to a problem. He understands what is required for a mediation to be meaningful and successful, and knows how to work toward an informed and durable resolution. While he recognizes that not all mediations will result in a settlement, he will ensure that the parties are prepared and have the best opportunity to reach a meaningful resolution. Peter has extensive trial experience and completed the award-winning course, Mediating the Litigated Case offered by Pepperdine University School of Law: Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution. In the 1990s, he was actively involved in the committee in Ottawa that saw the introduction of mandatory mediation into the litigation stream in Ontario.

For all inquiries and to schedule a mediation, please contact our Case Manager, Nancy Hantzis by emailing nancy.hantzis@nelligan.ca or calling 613-231-8341.