Litigation, Mediation & Arbitration Support

Toronto Family Lawyer for Litigation, Mediation and Arbitration Support

litigation1Litigation is the term used to describe a legal dispute that has gone into the court setting for resolution. There are a variety of courts in Ontario, each with specific jurisdiction to deal with specific issues. Justice is accessible to those who know how to engage the judicial system.

Mediation is intended to be a cooperative process in which a neutral third party professional assists the parties to develop their own resolution of issues. One of the hallmarks of mediation is the ability to choose one’s own mediator, and to choose whether the mediation itself will be treated as an “open mediation” or a “closed mediation”. Know your mediator. It is imperative to know the mediation style and approach that the selected mediator will employ before one agrees to a mediator. In considering the mediator, a party will want to decide whether to employ a specialist (family law lawyer, estates lawyer), a generalist, a former judge or a non-lawyer (social worker). It is equally as important to understand the mediation style of the other party and their counsel. Mediation is non-binding and therefore can protract unnecessarily the determination of a dispute if both parties are not committed to the mediation process. The parties must be prepare for mediation as they would for a court proceeding, including documentary material.


Arbitration is similar to mediation but it is binding on the parties. The Arbitration Act S.O. 1991, C.17 governs family law arbitrations in Ontario. Like mediation, parties are entitled to choose their arbitrator. Like mediation, parties enter into a written contract which defines the terms of the arbitration (or mediation). Unlike mediation, a neutral third party arbitrator actually makes a decision at the end of the hearing where the parties cannot negotiate a resolution. Arbitration is more akin in this way to “hire a judge” type of process than the mediation process.