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!
FH&P Lawyers LLP Welcomes Tanvir Gill to the Firm
Originally from Surrey, B.C. Tanvir obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from Simon Fraser University before attending law school at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops. She obtained her law degree in 2018 and completed her articles with a local firm. Tanvir was called to the Bar in 2019 and joined FH&P as an associate in July 2020. Tanvir is building a practice with a focus on residential and commercial real estate, business law and wills and estates. She is fluent in both Punjabi and Hindi. Outside of the office, Tanvir enjoys taking advantage of all that the Okanagan Valley has to offer, whether that means visiting her favourite wineries, paddle boarding or snowboarding at Big White in the winters.
DON’T JUST CLOSE YOUR DOORS (Part 3): Options for Financing
This is Part 3 of a three-part series entitled “Don’t Just Close Your Doors” in which we provide options for business owners struggling with the effects of the shutdowns and who see no option other than shutting down. In previous articles, I urge business owners not to focus on the current cashflow of the business (which is likely not great, given the state of the economy) and focus instead on the sources of potential value in their business – client lists, location, intellectual property, existing contracts, and business systems.
DON’T JUST CLOSE YOUR DOORS: Finding a Buyer (PART 2)
This is Part 2 of a three-part series entitled “Don’t Just Close Your Doors” in which we provide options for business owners who see no option other than shutting down. In the previous article, I urge business owners not to focus on the current cashflow of the business (which is likely not great, given the state of the economy) and focus instead on the sources of potential value in their business – client lists, location, intellectual property, existing contracts, and business systems. Rather than shutting their doors, we hope to encourage business owners to realize that potential value, and consider selling all, or a part, of their business to benefit from the value they have created.