Justice Innovation Blog

Trauma-Informed Mediation: How Trauma-Informed Strategies Can Improve Access to Justice

Nov 19, 2021

By Stefania Mariani and Arielle Masur Access to justice is a persisting problem in the legal community. As law students and mediators at the Osgoode Mediation Clinic, we know that alternative dispute resolution, namely mediation, is one way in which we can facilitate entry to the justice system. However, the access to justice crisis has various layers and part of this ongoing problem is ensuring that everyone receives sufficient resolutions through mediation.[1] A truly sufficient and successful resolution is only achieved when the parties feel that their concerns have been acknowledged, understood and addressed by the mediators. 192

Self-Represented Litigants: Does Mediation Provide a Better Alternative?

Nov 19, 2021

By Melissa Paglialunga Imagine this scenario: You and your partner decided to buy a new home several years ago, excited to take this momentous step in your personal lives and eager to move into a safe environment to raise your children.  However, a few years later, you are devastated to discover mould growing in the corners of this brand-new build.  Unsure about its source and the true magnitude of the situation, you hoped that the dark circles would go away.  You dismiss it as nothing serious, only to discover years later that these dots are starting to spread, and the…

Mediation: A Human-Centred Alternative to Litigation

Oct 23, 2021

By Josiah Schaafsma Prior to attending law school, my interactions with the justice system were quite minimal. Having never been to court before, I somewhat naively believed that courts and tribunals were set up in a manner that empowered individuals to resolve their conflicts by giving each party a voice and then having the issue decided by an impartial party. My first trip to bail court during an introductory criminal law school class quickly caused me to reconsider my assumptions. 187

The Power of Flexible Process Design: Mediator Selection and Industry Specific Mediation

Oct 23, 2021

By Kathleen Gregus As discussed by Phoebe Goldig in a previous Justice Innovation Blog post, mediation can be a very effective alternative to courtroom litigation. By way of summary, mediation operates as a process in which individuals or groups in both personal and professional capacities may resolve disputes outside of formal court litigation. In mediation, a mediator acting as a neutral third party assists disputing parties come to a workable solution constructed by them. Critically, settlements or decisions are not imposed on the parties by a mediator. Rather, the role of a mediator is to facilitate communication and negotiation, enabling…

Mediation vs. Litigation: How and Why Mediation is an Effective Alternative to Litigation

Oct 16, 2021

By Phoebe Goldig Picture this scenario: you, the defendant, your representation, and the presiding judge appear at your motion hearing in Small Claims Court as scheduled. No one appears for the opposing side. After waiting five minutes, the judge instructs your counsel to reach out to opposing counsel to ask whether they (and/or the plaintiff) will be appearing. The opposing side does not answer the call. 182

Demystifying Mediation

Jul 29, 2021

By Linda Mochon While alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is no foreign concept to law students and practicing lawyers, many of us have mistaken views and misconceptions about what mediation is truly about. With a tendency to hold on to our own perceptions, we seldom question our understanding and knowledge. Once a belief or impression is formed, it is remarkably perseverant and difficult to change. As I began exploring the world of mediation during my law school experience at Osgoode Hall and as a Caseworker with the Winkler Institute, I began to realize that there were many misconceptions and myths that…