Vancouver, BC - A new study by Mediate BC Society, a not-for-profit organization representing many of BC’s mediators, says that mediation is an effective and affordable alternative to going to court. The survey, released at the start of Conflict Resolution Week, shows that mediation can cost a fraction of the cost of litigation and yield very high rates of satisfaction.
Mediate BC surveyed its Family and Civil Rosters of mediators across the province for the first-time ever to provide this information on mediation in British Columbia.
The survey showed that:
average total mediation fees were less than $2000 for family, civil and workplace cases, as compared with legal fees in the tens of thousands for litigation;
over 90% of mediations resolved all issues, or moved the parties significantly towards resolution.*
“These results demonstrate the affordability and effectiveness of mediation,” says Mediate BC Executive Director Kari Boyle. “While a court process is sometimes needed, mediation is often the better solution to save British Columbians time, money and stress in resolving conflict.” Boyle will officially release the survey results at an event at the downtown branch of the Vancouver Public Library at noon on Tuesday, October 14th.
The comparisons are dramatic. While the average mediation fees in a civil matter were just $1,566 in total for all parties, the 2014 survey of the legal community by Canadian Lawyer magazine shows that the average legal fees for litigation of a civil dispute up to and including a two-day trial were $21,452 per party; $42,904 for two parties. In a family case, the average legal fees are $14,500 per party and $29,000 for two parties, as compared with an average total mediation fee of just $1,784 shared between all parties.
Moreover, repeated studies have shown that mediation is a more timely method of addressing conflict. A 2007 Canadian Department of Justice study showed that mediation cases resolved about 5 months more quickly than those that were litigated without mediation.
“Mediation is often overlooked when people find themselves in a conflict,” says Mediate BC’s Boyle. “The go-to response tends to be legal action. But there are mediators all over the province who can assist people to resolve many of these conflicts more quickly and affordably, and arrive at solutions which are more tailored to their needs and enduring for all parties.”
Mediate BC is a not-for-profit organization that provides a range of training, service, development and quality monitoring programs to support and develop capacity in dispute resolution services in B.C. From October 11th to 18th, mediators across British Columbia are highlighting the benefits of mediation in talks and events as part of Conflict Resolution Week. Full information on Conflict Resolution Week events is available at: www.mediatebc.com/CRWeek.aspx
*Click here to see a copy of the 2014 Mediate BC survey. For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact: Carolyn Jack, 604-970-3234. An infographic on survey results is attached for media use.