more than 40 years of legal experience
302, 15252 – 32nd Avenue | Surrey, British Columbia V3Z 0R7

Employment Mediation Lawyer

An employment mediation lawyer specializes in resolving workplace disputes through mediation, helping parties reach amicable agreements without litigation.

Maximizing Resolution: The Role of Employment Mediation Lawyers

Business disputes, whether between contractually joined partners or competitors, are common in British Columbia. It is not uncommon that such disputes are eventually resolved in court. However, litigation is intensely time-consuming and costly. A case can take weeks or months to prepare and resolve in the courtroom.

 

Additionally, court battles are more likely to become public than a private dispute resolution process. With litigation, information about your business that you don’t want other entities to know may be easily aired in a courtroom and probably become public knowledge available to creditors, competitors, customers, and even partners.

 

Mediation and arbitration are effective and serve as alternative dispute resolution options. They can be conducted privately, which means there’s no ensuing court record, and your business information will not be aired in a court – only those actively involved in the conflict will be present. If you and your organization are involved in a dispute in Vancouver, you can pursue an arbitration process instead of litigation.

 

The Law Firm of Robert Doran offers effective mediation services. Our lawyers have outstanding employment law experience and have been offering employers legal aid to handle and resolve employment disputes through mediation and arbitration. We can also pursue litigation, particularly if there is no other option or a lawsuit is filed against you.

The Scope of Alternative Dispute Resolution

Most business agreements have dispute resolution provisions such as binding arbitration or mediation. These provisions offer an alternative to the litigation process for resolving disputes. While these options may be effective and less costly, they also have limitations, and you must consider various legal implications before agreeing to mediation, arbitrations, or negotiations.

 

At a case planning conference in British Columbia, a presiding judge may require the parties involved in a case to attend one or more sessions of mediation, settlement conference, or another acceptable dispute resolution process. The judge may give direction of how the dispute resolution process will be conducted – whether mediation, settlement conference, or arbitration.

 

Note that any party involved in a dispute may initiate a mediation process by serving a notice of mediation on all other parties. According to the BC Mediation Regulation, you can initiate a single mediation in relation to a dispute unless a court order states otherwise. Remember, alternative methods for resolving disputes may not apply to cases involving sexual abuse.

 

One of the important considerations is whether a dispute resolution clause in a particular agreement makes mediation or arbitration mandatory and the scope of conflicts that may be submitted to arbitration. In a case where the parties involved have agreed to submit all disputes arising or relating to the agreement to a binding arbitration, litigation that had already commenced in a civil court can be stayed.

 

Whether a litigation can be stayed depends on the details of the arbitration clause in the signed agreement. If your dispute isn’t within the scope of arbitration, a civil court may decline any request to delay litigation.

Mediation

According to the Canadian Bar Association, mediation is the intervention of disputes or negotiations by an acceptable and neutral third party with no decision-making power. Such an impartial mediator can help the disputing parties to reach a mutually agreeable resolution voluntarily. Here are the characteristics of a successful mediation process.

 

  • The parties involved in a dispute must voluntarily agree to mediation
  • Any decision made by the mediator is non-binding
  • Unlike litigation or arbitration, there’s no formal set of rules for the mediation process. What transpires during mediation is subject to approval by the parties involved.
  • The parties involved in a dispute must agree on a carefully drafted confidential clause before they proceed. Failure to do so means Canada’s Access to Information Act & Privacy Act will apply.

A mediator can’t dictate a dispute resolution. However, the parties involved in the mediation can accept the mediator’s guidance, rely on their input, and resolve the dispute successfully. Alternatively, the case or dispute can proceed to arbitration or litigation.

Arbitration

Unlike mediation, arbitration is governed by provincial and federal laws. The entire arbitration process resembles litigation but in a somewhat relaxed version. Commercial arbitration is usually governed by the Commercial Arbitration Act (CAA). British Columbia relies on its new Arbitration Act for non-international arbitrations.

 

Arbitration can be agreed upon before a conflict arises from an agreement between parties to use this process to resolve disagreements instead of litigation. It can also be applied once a dispute arises and the parties involved agree to resolve their issues through arbitration.

 

While arbitration may be similar to a court proceeding, the latter doesn’t allow you to choose a judge. The arbitration process allows the parties involved to agree on the choice of arbitrator. Just like a court case, arbitration often ends with a legally binding decision. Before the entire arbitration process begins, the parties must agree that the arbitrator’s decision is final.

 

Arbitration, like mediation, is voluntary and allows parties to set their own procedural and evidential rules. It is less formal, but both sides usually present arguments before the arbitrator, with or without legal counsel. Similar to litigation, the arbitrator issues a written decision after hearing both sides.

 

According to Article 31 of the CAA, the decision must be in writing, and reasons must be provided unless agreed otherwise. Arbitration, like mediation, is confidential if both parties agree beforehand. Otherwise, federal information and privacy laws apply.

Mediation or Arbitration?

Of the two alternative dispute resolution options, mediation is more informal. A mediator can’t issue a binding decision. On the other hand, an arbitrator relies on an adversarial relationship similar to a courtroom proceeding, and the final decision is binding. Sometimes, the result may not please the parties involved in a dispute.

 

However, the CAA allows a recourse to court under specific circumstances. This is particularly true if, after an arbitrator’s ruling, there has been a violation of a party’s rights or the final decision goes beyond the initial agreement.

 

When deciding between arbitration and mediation, it is important to consider the unique circumstances of your dispute. Mediation is often considered when the parties involved want to maintain confidentiality, preserve their relationship, and have control over the outcome. Arbitration, on the other hand, is suitable for conflicts that require specialized expertise and a binding decision.

 

Both arbitration and mediation are effective alternatives to litigation. While mediation facilitates collaboration and communication, arbitration offers a formal process that ends with binding decisions. Thus, choosing the most suitable option depends on your goals, the nature of your dispute, and your preferred level of confidentiality and control.

Arbitration and Mediation Lawyer Serving Vancouver

If you and another organization or a partner in your company are involved in a dispute that can’t be resolved through negotiations, you may want to consider arbitration and mediation options. If you are in Vancouver, contact the Law Firm of Robert Doran to pursue a resolution. Our experienced lawyers will help you to navigate the process of mediation or arbitration to achieve the best outcome.

 

The success of our law firm has been defined by our personalized approach to each case. We focus on full-scale preparation of each case and gaining a thorough understanding of all relevant facts. This allows us to carefully facilitate communication and collaboration during mediation.

 

In addition, a thorough understanding of your dispute allows us to be effective arbitrators. Regardless of the complexity of your dispute, contact us. We will ensure a successful mediation or arbitration.

Contact us

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Office Location

Surrey Office
302, 15252 – 32nd Avenue Surrey, British Columbia V3Z 0R7
Phone: 604-542-9455
Fax: 604-542-9493

Office Hours

Monday – Friday | 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM

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