News, Cases & Articles

Should Mediators Work on Contingency ?

August, 2018 – 5 minute read

Recently, someone asked me if mediators ever work on contingency. The question took me by surprise. To me, the answer seemed obvious, and so I replied: “No, of course not”. As a mediator, I have never charged a contingency fee, nor do I know any mediators where I practise (Ontario, Canada) who do so. Frankly, I don’t believe the thought had ever crossed my mind. However, as a lawyer (I am a lawyer and a mediator – just not for the same dispute), I will enter into contingency fee arrangements for legal services with clients from time-to-time, and for certain types of matters.

Nevertheless, I was curious about my instant aversion to charging contingency fees as a mediator, and I thought that the person who raised the issue deserved a fulsome answer.

In this post (and its conclusion next week), I will address the following questions: 1. Are mediators in Ontario and other parts of Canada permitted to charge contingency fees? 2. If so, are contingency fees a good idea?

What are contingency fees? Read more →

The Costs of Refusing Mediation

 

June, 2018  (12 minute read):

A recent Ontario Court decision demonstrates why refusing to participate in mediation in a civil proceeding, where mediation is not mandatory, can be expensive in the end. This decision of Mew J. respecting costs followed a seven-day jury trial in Belleville of a (non-MVA) personal injury matter. Liability and damages were in issue. After the jury found that the plaintiff was 25% contributorily negligent, damages were assessed at $212,000 including interest. The plaintiff sought costs on a partial indemnity basis of $269,371 plus tax.  The defendant argued that $150,000 inclusive of HST was appropriate.

In his reasons, the judge considered the various criteria and general principles relevant to the fixing of costs, including that “the usual rule in Read more →

Equal Pay For Equal Work In Ontario Workplaces

Spring brings further changes to provincially-regulated Ontario workplaces. These latest changes arise from last November, when the Legislature passed “Bill 148” (also known as the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act), on which we reported in a recent blog post. However, some parts of the Bill did not take effect immediately.

Starting April 1, 2018, Part XII of the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”), has been amended such that no employer shall pay an employee at a rate of pay less than the rate paid to another employee of the employer because of a difference in employment status when, Read more →