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ADR@SGR’s “Small Claims Mediation Initiative”.

We are excited about our Small Claims Mediation Initiative, which offers affordable, timely and effective mediation for those parties involved in cases already commenced in the Small Claims Courts in Ontario, or those disputes not yet started in Court — but which otherwise are within the jurisdiction of the Small Claims Court [1].

Consider what the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney-General has to say about mediation and Small Claims Court:

“Is it possible for you to resolve the issue in another fashion? You may want to consider mediation, which is a less formal method of resolving a dispute through a neutral third party. Mediation can be less time-consuming, more flexible, and less expensive than proceeding in court. It can also help you find your own solution to the dispute and preserve your relationship with the person/business” [2].

We agree. However, unlike other cases brought in the higher courts, which may be subject to mandatory mediation, or, at least, in which voluntary mediation is the norm, there is no mandatory mediation program or common mediation practice in Small Claims Court [3].

To address this problem, Raymond Stancer, senior litigator and mediator with Stancer, Gossin, Rose LLP, is heading ADR@SGR’s  Small Claims Mediation Initiative.  Ray is a trained mediator and a civil litigator with over 50 years of experience. In addition, he is a former Deputy Judge of the Small Claims Court. While Ray was a judge, he conducted thousands of trials and settlement conferences. There is little he has not encountered in Small Claims disputes.  He brings a unique depth of experience and patient peacemaking skills to smaller cases, which can often be more challenging to settle than larger ones.

Ray offers early dates and special fees for cases which qualify for our Small Claims Mediation Initiative: $600.00 plus HST [4] for up to three hours of mediation time, including one hour of preparation. All mediations take place at our facilities located at Sheppard and Leslie, which are on the subway line and close to the Toronto Small Claims Court. There is no additional charge for use of our facilities [5].

While parties are encouraged to bring their licensed paralegal, lawyer or articling student representatives to the mediation, self-represented parties are welcome. Please note, as in all cases, our mediators do not provide legal advice.

For more information, contact Ray directly at 416-224-1996 (204) or at .

To book a mediation or to inquire about dates, please contact Laurie Sta. Ana .

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[1] The Small Claims Court (a) has jurisdiction in any action for the payment of money where the amount claimed does not exceed $25,000.00 exclusive of interest and costs; and (b) has jurisdiction in any action for the recovery of possession of personal property where the value of the property does not exceed $25,000.00 (Courts of Justice Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.43, s. 23 (1)  & Ontario Regulation 626/00 s. 23(1)). In the event of a dispute not already commenced in Small Claims Court, we reserve the right to determine, at our discretion, whether a particular case is appropriate for the ‘Small Claims Court Initiative”.
[2] Source: http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/courts/scc/b4aClaim.asp  Please note that our “Small Claims Mediation Initiative” is not associated with the Ministry of the Attorney General, the Court or any government agency.
[3] While some Small Claims Courts in the province may offer free, volunteer-run mediation services, availability may be limited and such services may take place only on the trial date. Interested parties should inquire at their local Courthouse.  As well, local mediation clinics and other agencies may offer free services for some persons. We support these valuable, not-for-profit services to our community.   Our Small Claims Mediation initiative is different: It is a privately run, for-profit venture with mediations conducted by an experienced civil litigator and retired Small Claims Court judge. He is available to mediate cases for anyone (provided all sides agree), at any stage of a dispute and at an affordable price.
[4] This fee is for a two-side mediation. A three-side mediation is $800.00 plus HST. In addition, extra  mediation and preparation time is charged at regular hourly rates.  All mediation fees are to be split equally between the participating sides, unless otherwise agreed upon. Retainers/deposits may be payable in advance of the mediation date.  Please inquire for full rate information.
[5] Subject to availability.