Mediation is a process by which a trained, independent, unbiased third party (the “Mediator”) meets with the parties to assist with the negotiation process. They are trained in helping the parties break through a negotiation dead-lock, and to identify possible solutions that may not have been considered. Mediators are not decision-makers, and if there is no agreement, the discussions remain confidential and non-binding. However, if an agreement is reached, it will form the basis for an agreement between the parties, which is enforceable moving forward.
Mediators can assist the parties to the dispute on their own, or with the parties’ own legal counsel present. This is often advisable in more complex disputes, so that the parties can get independent legal advice on their positions as the mediation takes place. As a mediator is a neutral third party, they cannot give legal advice to either side. Once an agreement is tentatively reached, the mediator will advise the parties to each seek legal advice as to whether they should move forward with the agreement, as negotiated.
In 2020, Stephanie completed an 80+ hour mediation training course recognized by the Law Society of British Columbia and is now accepting assignments to act as a mediator in disputes. She also regularly acts as legal counsel to parties attending a mediation with an independent mediator.