Terms and Definitions

What can you expect when you engage Nancy Merrill QC in the role as a certified mediator or as certified arbitrator in a family matter? Here are some of the definitions to help you understand the role and the differences.

“Arbitration and Mediation are two alternatives for dispute resolution and are used in place of the litigation process. The choice depends on the context and situation. The difference between an arbitrator and a mediator lies in their role and whether the agreement or judgment is binding.”

  • A mediator does not deliver a judgment.
  • A mediator is usually one who resolves disputes between people, organizations, states or any other communities.
  • A mediator facilitates dialogue between the parties and it is up to them to come to an agreement. An agreement reached after mediation is not binding.


An arbitrator’s judgment is considered final and binding. An arbitrator is a neutral person chosen to resolve disputes outside the courts. Arbitration is the private, judicial determination of a dispute, by an independent third party. The disputing parties hand over their power to decide the dispute to the arbitrator. Arbitration is an alternative to court action (litigation), and generally, just as final and binding (unlike mediation, negotiation and conciliation which are non-binding).

Family Law Mediators

The Law Society of British Columbia says in order to be a family law mediator you must have:

“Sufficient knowledge, skills and experience relevant to family law to carry out the mediatory function in a fair and competent matter;
80 hours of approved mediation skills training, which must include, theory and skills training 14 hours of approved training in family violence, which must include skills for identifying, evaluating and managing family violence and issues of power dynamics in particular relation to the dispute resolution process.”


Family Law Arbitrators

The Law Society of British Columbia says in order to be a family law arbitrator you must have:

“A total of at least 10 years, engaged in the full-time practice of law or the equivalent in part-time practice or as a judge or master;
Sufficient knowledge, skills and experience relevant to family law to carry out the arbitral function in a fair and competent matter;

40 hours of training in how to conduct an arbitration, which must include, theory and skills training, drafting, how to conduct an arbitration, the statutory framework of arbitration, family dynamics and administrative law principles governing arbitrations;
14 hours of approved training in family violence, which must include, skills for identifying, evaluating and managing family violence and issues of power dynamics in particular relation to the dispute resolution process.”

Having Legal Trouble?

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We have the experience to give you advice with your legal troubles.

Alternate Dispute Resolution

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We are proud to have a certified mediator and arbitrator on our staff.

Merrill, Long & Co.

201 Milton Street

Nanaimo, BC V9R 2K5

Hours

8:30 AM- 4:30 PM MON-FRI

Phone

250-754-4441

Email

merilong@telus.net


Free initial consultation

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