Mediation & Arbitration Services


What is mediation?

Mediation is a process that allows people to settle a dispute or a lawsuit outside of court.  It can take place even if court has already been started.

It involves a neutral third party (the mediator) who helps the parties involved in the dispute try to find a solution to the dispute, or resolve some of the issues.

Unlike Judges, mediators do not make decisions, or impose settlements.  The purpose of mediation is not to determine who “wins” and who “loses,” but to help develop creative solutions based on mutual agreement.

What are the advantages of mediation?

Mediation allows parties to participate in the decision-making process.  This allows parties to compromise and come up with a creative solution that suits their needs and interests. This is different than court where a judge imposes a decision on the parties.

Mediation is private, confidential and informal.  Court proceedings are not.

Mediation is non-adversarial, and avoids the costs and delays associated with court.

Do both parties have to be willing to mediate?

Yes. Mediation cannot occur unless both both parties are willing to participate in mediation.

Mediation is therefore not suitable for every situation.

What types of disputes are suitable for mediation?

Mediation is suitable for any type of dispute, whether court proceedings have been commenced or not. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • family law (custody, child support, spousal support, parenting, extraordinary expenses, division of assets);
  • property disputes, breach of contract, accidents, any kind of civil litigation;
  • settlement of family disputes relating to wills and estates;
  • employee/employer disputes.

What a mediator does NOT do:

  • Provide legal advice;
  • Take sides;
  • Pass judgement.

What if no resolution is reached?

If no resolution is reached, the parties can still rely on court.

Discussions during mediation are “without prejudice,” and cannot be used as evidence in any court proceedings or arbitration.

The process is strictly confidential.

Do I need to have a lawyer to participate in mediation?


If I have a lawyer, can she/he participate?


If my lawyer does not participate, can I contact him or her during the process for advice?


Who pays for mediation?

The parties share the cost of mediation, unless otherwise agreed upon by the parties.

Does mediation have to be in person?

No.  Mediation through an online process is available, though the chances of success are generally higher when held in person.

If in person, does the mediation have to take place in Kirkland Lake?

No. The mediation can take place in another town or city. Applicable disbursements related to travel and rental space may apply depending on location.

Are mediation services available in French?


How does the process work?

  1. Each party completes an intake form provided by our office.
  2. Our mediator will have a  telephone or video meeting with each party (or counsel) to determine if the dispute is suitable for mediation, and to answer any questions relating to the process. When parties are represented by counsel, and if preferred by the parties, short briefs may be prepared instead of intake forms and interviews.
  3.  Once the intake has been completed, a date and location are selected and an Agreement to Mediate is reviewed and signed.
  4. Mediation takes place in person or virtually.
  5. If an agreement is reached, whether for the entire dispute or for just  some of the issues, the parties may agree to enter into a written agreement.
  6. If the parties do not reach an agreement but wish to continue mediating and negotiating, the parties may request an additional mediation session, and/or may request that the mediator continue to assist in the negotiations by telephone or email, at the mediator’s hourly rate.

How much does mediation cost? 

Mediator: Julie Richard, B.A. (Hons.), LL.B., LLM (ADR)
Member of the ADR Institute of Ontario, ADR Institute of Canada and Mediators Beyond Borders.

Pre-mediation (intake and pre-mediation meetings) Mediation Session Hourly Rate for additional sessions or post-mediation work
(Flat fee per party)

$325 + HST


(Flat fee per party)

Half-day (approx.4 hours) $800 + HST

Full day (approx. 7 hours) $1,400 + HST

(hourly, overall)

$400 per hour, + HST

*Additional disbursements may be charged, including but not limited to travel, rental space, faxes, couriers.

The pre-mediation flat fee includes a review of the intake form, and brief phone calls or emails with each party or counsel.

Additional sessions or post-mediation work may include additional sessions, or continuing mediation by other means including by email, telephone or virtual sessions.

Retainers are required.  Cancellation fees apply as follows: 48 hours or less,  $150 per party, plus any disbursements.

For additional information and/or to book a mediation, please call 705.567.9500 to speak with Jesse in our Alternative Dispute Resolution Services branch.


What is arbitration?

Arbitration is an alternative to court whereby parties choose a neutral third party to make a binding decision to settle a legal dispute.  By choosing arbitration, parties waive their right to bring the matter to court.

What are the advantages of arbitration?

Arbitration avoids the expense and delays associated with litigation.  Unlike court, the decision-maker is chosen by the parties. The arbitrator’s decision is private and never reported.

The process is less formal and less expensive than court, and allows hearings to be scheduled in accordance with party preference rather than dates selected by a court.

Do both parties have to be willing to arbitrate a dispute?

No. Parties may be obligated to arbitrate if they are party to a contract containing an arbitration clause, but parties often have the ability to choose the arbitrator, depending on the wording of the arbitration clause.

What kind of disputes are suitable for arbitration?

Arbitration can be suitable for any kind of legal dispute where the parties had already contracted to arbitration, or where parties wish to avoid the delays, expense and public nature of court.  Examples include commercial disputes, disputes involving wills and estates, labour law, and family law.

Arbitration is not suitable for matters where there are power imbalances, including but not limited to domestic violence issues.

Is the arbitrator’s decision binding?

In deciding to arbitrate a matter, parties agree that the arbitrator’s decision will be binding.

Do I need to have a lawyer to participate in arbitration?

No, but it is highly recommended since it involves making legal arguments and presenting evidence.  It may also involve presenting and cross-examining witnesses.  A lawyer must be consulted prior to deciding if arbitration is suitable as it involves waiving your right to go to court.

How is the arbitrator’s decision made?

The arbitrator’s award is made in writing.

 Is the arbitrator’s decision enforceable?

Yes, and it is enforceable by a court.

Who provides arbitrator services at Richard & Chamaillard Law?

Julie Richard offers arbitrator services in both French and English.

For additional information relating to our arbitration services, please call 705.567.9500 to speak with Jesse in our Alternative Dispute Resolution branch.