Role of the Mediator

  • be impartial;
  • deal respectfully with all mediation participants;
  • meet with the parties and their representatives separately, in person or by phone, prior to mediation to discuss their perspectives (pre-mediation);
  • answer any questions at pre-mediation that the participants may have about mediation;
  • explain the mediation process;
  • ensure that the Agreement to Mediate is signed by all participants prior to the commencement of mediation;
  • establish, in consultation with the parties, the ground rules for mediation;
  • help everyone listen, communicate and stay focused on the mediation process;
  • help the parties to focus on the future, rather than the past, and on interests, rather than on positions;
  • encourage the parties to consider each other's perspective;
  • help the parties to identify the important issues;
  • guide the parties in exploring their respective interests and needs;
  • support the parties in their development of viable options and assessing the various options in light of objective criteria (laws, precedents, etc.);
  • protect the confidentiality of the mediation process, subject to any applicable law;
  • help the parties in doing a “reality check” concerning the respective strengths and weaknesses of their case.

The Role of the Mediator is NOT to :

  • take sides;
  • act as a lawyer or advocate for either party;
  • tell the parties what the issues are between them;
  • take responsibility for the issues;
  • solve the issues;
  • make decisions for the parties;
  • offer his or her opinion on the likely outcome if the case is not settled in mediation and proceeds to hearing;
  • give advice on the legal implications of any settlement reached by the parties;
  • draft the Terms of Settlement;
  • give advice on the legal implications of the Terms of Settlement.