What is Mediation?

Mediation is an effective and confidential way to resolve a lawsuit.

Mediators help you to:

  • Identify the topics you want to discuss;
  • Prepare for open and honest discussion;
  • Listen to the viewpoint of the other party; and
  • Work together to find creative and realistic solutions.

What are the benefits of Mediation?

Mediation is:

  • Private
  • Informal
  • Creative
  • Fair
  • Cost-saving
  • Time-saving

When does a lawsuit go to Mediation?

You may request Mediation or the Court may select your lawsuit for Mediation once a Dispute Note has been filed.

It is important to note that not all Claims are chosen for Mediation.

However, if the lawsuit is selected for Mediation, the Mediation Office will send all parties a Notice of Mediation by email or mail setting out the date, time and location of the Mediation.

Who are the Mediators?

Mediators come from many backgrounds, but all have extensive mediation training.  They are impartial and will not take sides in your lawsuit. They will not make decisions but are trained to help you and the other party resolve your lawsuit. Some Mediations will have two Mediators.

What is the mediator's role?

Mediators do:

  • Help you to explore the problem;
  • Help you to explore new options to resolve your dispute; and
  • Help you to have respectful and balanced discussions.

Mediators do not:

  • Take sides;
  • Tell you how you should resolve your dispute; or
  • Give legal advice.

How do I prepare for Mediation?

  1. Collect documents that explain your viewpoint, such as invoices and photos. You may want to bring additional copies so that all parties attending the Mediation can also refer to them.
  2. Be prepared to:
    • Discuss what is important to you;
    • Listen to the other party;
    • Share information and documents; and
    • Work to resolve your dispute.
  3. You may choose to consult a lawyer or agent before attending Mediation.

How much time will it take?

Mediation usually lasts two to three hours. In some Mediation locations you may need to pay for parking. Make sure to purchase parking for this amount of time to avoid any parking violations.

Who participates in Mediation?

ALL parties named in the lawsuit MUST attend Mediation.

If a company is named as a party, the company's spokesperson must know all the facts and have the power to settle the lawsuit.

Witnesses do not usually attend mediation.

You may choose to ask a lawyer or agent to attend with you, but this is not required. A lawyer or agent cannot attend without you.

Where are Mediations held?

Mediations are usually held in boardrooms, not courtrooms. They are held in private and are not open to the public. Mediation may also be held by phone or video conferencing.

What is the role of my lawyer or agent in mediation?

You do most of the talking in Mediation. You may consult your lawyer or agent for advice during Mediation.

A lawyer can explain your legal options and how the law applies to your lawsuit.

How much does mediation cost?

Mediation is free to the parties.

Lawyer fees and agent fees are the responsibility of the parties.

What happens after Mediation?

If you reach an agreement, Mediators help you to put the agreement in writing. This is called a Mediated Agreement.

If you do not reach an agreement, you may proceed with your lawsuit to Court. The Court will review the file and select a Resolution Track, which may include; a Pre-Trial Conference, Simplified Trial, Trial, or the parties may be invited to participate in a Binding Judicial Dispute Resolution. The parties will receive a written Notice that includes the time, date and location for the parties to attend in Court. For more detailed information review the section called Resolution Tracks: Are there different ways a Civil Claim can be resolved?

What happens if one party (either Plaintiff or Defendant) does not come to the Mediation?

The Mediation Office will issue a Certificate of Non-Attendance at Mediation.

The party that attended the Mediation may apply to Court to strike the pleading (Civil Claim, Dispute Note, Counterclaim) of the other party that did not attend the Mediation by filing an Application.

The party that did not attend the Mediation may apply to Court to request another Mediation date to be set by filing an application.

Any application made to the Court requires that an Application and an Affidavit in Support of the Application be filed. There is a filing fee.

Court of Justice Civil Mediation Rules

Read the rules regulating civil mediation in the Alberta Court of Justice or visit Civil claims mediation for the Alberta Court of Justice.