Mandatory Mediation

For those actions started in Ottawa, Toronto or Essex County, parties are required to participate in a mediation session within 180 days of the first statement of defence being served.

Prior to mediation, each party must file a mediation brief with the mediator and give a copy to the other party. The mediation brief identifies the disputed factual and legal issues, sets out the party's position on each issue, and includes copies of the most pertinent documents to the matter.

At mediation, parties meet with a neutral mediator who tries to help them resolve the issues in the matter. The mediator cannot force the parties to accept a settlement nor has the power to impose a decision on the parties. Discussions at mediation are confidential, as are any admissions or settlement offers that are made during mediation. If the parties fail to reach a settlement, offers made by a party cannot be referred to during the rest of the litigation process until after a judgment is reached.

If mediation does not help to resolve the matters, the parties may request, or the court may order, a settlement conference.