The other lawyer is recommending mediation-arbitration but my client is reluctant to ‘lock in’ to an out-of-court option. What is your advice?

a courtroom setting, symbolizing the traditional adversarial legal process, with one lawyer on one side and another lawyer on the opposite side. In the middle, there could be a table or scale representing mediation-arbitration, suggesting a more collaborative and balanced approach. To highlight the client's reluctance, you could have the client depicted separately, standing at a distance or hesitatingly looking at the mediation-arbitration option.Mediation-arbitration is a great process option for many, especially with the current backlogs in court. We can move a case forward or manage a case efficiently so that the matter is dealt with in a legally appropriate manner.

But it is not the right choice for everyone, and that is why we meet each party first to assess suitability.

There are some couples and families that need to be in court. For example, if the Office of the Children’s Lawyer is needed; or if there is current police or Children’s Aid involvement.

And private mediation-arbitration can be expensive as the parties must pay the mediator-arbitrator.

Luckily, our rates are reasonable and we work hard to design streamlined cost-efficient processes. In most cases, we are able to get matters settled in mediation. When we arbitrate, we work hard to help each person feel heard and respected and in most cases they are satisfied with the result.

It is important to carefully choose your mediator-arbitrator so that they have the skills, experience, personality and approach that suits counsel and clients alike.

About Hilary Linton

Hilary Linton is a senior family lawyer, mediator, parenting coordinator and arbitrator. She founded Riverdale Mediation after litigating family and civil matters for 14 years including as a partner in a Toronto boutique law firm. Riverdale’s team of highly skilled family mediators, parenting coordinators and arbitrators resolve high conflict and challenging disputes. Riverdale is also internationally known for its high calibre online training programs in Family Dispute Resolution.