Legal proceedings can be long, expensive, and time consuming.There is an alternative or complementary process which may allow parties in a dispute to settle it faster and cheaper than going to trial:Mediation. Mediation is a voluntary settlement process in which the parties are assisted by a third party (the mediator) to negotiate a resolution. Mediators do not give legal advice, take sides, or impose decisions.
There are many benefits to attempting to mediate a dispute.Mediation allows the parties the flexibility of designing a solution that is tailored to their specific needs. It can resolve a dispute without going to court, at an early stage, and is generally far less expensive than paying counsel to prepare and attend trial. Frequently, the parties agree to share the cost of mediation. Mediation can save money and reduce stress.
Mediation is a private process and the parties can agree to keep the terms of a settlement confidential.What goes on at mediation is also privileged, which means that the positions the parties take cannot later be used against them if they are unable to settle.A mediator cannot be called as a witness in court.
Mediators are neutral. They do not give legal advice, do not make or impose decisions on the parties, and do not take sides in the mediation. Their role is to facilitate settlement discussions between the parties. Although emotions will run high from time to time, with the assistance of a skilled mediator, parties can often work out arrangements that resolve their dispute without the necessity of litigation. In mediation, parties take control and ownership of their solutions rather than having a third party, such as a judge or arbitrator, impose a solution upon them.
FH&P has two of our very own accredited mediators, Gillian Dougans, who specializes in legal disputes and workplace conflicts, and Heidi Taylor, our family mediator. Check out our following series on mediation to find out more about it, and to hear from our mediators!
Provincial Court Family Rules
Wesley Shields, a family lawyer in our office was appointed as a member of the Provincial Court Family Rules Working Group in 2017. The Committee began its work in 2014 on implementing changes and reforms to the B.C. Provincial Court Family Rules. In the edition of The Lawyer’s Daily article titled “B.C. family law reform proposals aimed at less adversarial system, smaller burden on courts” they interviewed Wesley Shields on the new recommendations proposed regarding Provincial Family Rules.
New York New Years 2019
For New Years Eve 2019, FH&P Lawyers were proud to serve hot chocolate to anyone who had attended New York New Years in Stuart Park. The event started at 6pm and ran until 9pm. This is the 8th annual New York New Years, which was put on by Valley First and the City of Kelowna. This is one of the only free New Years Eve all ages event that happens in Kelowna.
FH&P Lawyers New Office Now Open in Penticton
FH&P Lawyers is very excited to announce the opening of our new location at 74 Wade Avenue, Penticton. This will be our second location in the South Okanagan and we are delighted to continue serving the communities we call home.