Notice to Mediate Regulations

Under the Notice to Mediate Regulations (Supreme Court)

When parties are unable to agree upon the selection of a mediator under one of British Columbia's Notice to Mediate Regulations, any party to the action may apply to a "roster organization" designated by the Attorney General for the appointment of a mediator. The Society has been designated as a "roster organization" for this purpose.

 

*Recent amendments to all of the Notice to Mediate regulations have removed the requirement to file copies of the Notice to Mediate and the Certificate of Completed Mediation forms with the Dispute Resolution Office. The requirement to deliver a copy of the forms to the Dispute Resolution Office was removed from the legislation as of February 28, 2013 for all but the Notice to Mediate (Family); the latter was removed as of March 18, 2013 as part of the new Family Law Act package.
 
Links to the specific Regulations can be found at http://www.ag.gov.bc.ca/dro/regulations-rules/index.htm. If you need further assistance, please feel free to call the Roster Office at 604 681-6050.
 
The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about the Society's role under the Notice to Mediate Regulations, including how to request the Society to appoint a mediator under one of the regulations:

1) Which organizations are designated "roster organizations"? Where can a list of these "roster organizations" be obtained?
The Mediate BC Society is the only organization which has been designated as a "roster organization" for the purpose of the Notice to Mediate regulations. Accordingly, there is no list of "roster organizations".

2) What is the procedure for requesting the appointment of a mediator under the regulations?
The procedure is similar for all of the regulations:

a) If the parties have been unable to agree on a mediator within the applicable time after delivery of a Notice to Mediate, a request for appointment may be made by any participant in the action. It should be submitted in writing to the Mediate BC Society, Attention: Mediator Roster Office, 177 - 800 Hornby Street, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2C5.

b) To accelerate the process, it is advisable to forward the request by fax. The Mediator Roster Office's fax number is: 604-681-6080.

c) The written request should include the following information:

  • It should indicate that the parties have been unable to select a mediator within the time required by the regulation.
  • It should identify the section of the regulation under which the request is being made [i.e., section 7 of the Notice to Mediate Regulation for motor vehicle actions; or section 4 of the Notice to Mediate (Residential Construction) Regulation; section 7 of the Notice to Mediate (General) Regulation; or section 4 of the Education Mediation Regulation].
  • It should list the names and contact information (including an address, phone number, fax number and email address) of counsel involved in the action, as well as the names of the parties which they represent. Also, indicate contact information for unrepresented parties.
  • If the request is being made under the Notice to Mediate (General) Regulation, it should state the nature of the action (e.g., wrongful dismissal, personal injury).
  • It should indicate the date of the trial or indicate that a trial date has not been scheduled.
  • If the request is made under the Notice to Mediate (General) Regulations it should indicate the date of the filing of the first response.
  • If the request is made under the Notice to Mediate Regulation [Insurance (Motor Vehicle) Act] it should indicate the date of the close of pleadings.

d) A copy of the Notice to Mediate which was delivered to the participants must be attached to the request. Please ensure that the Notice to Mediate has been filed on the correct regulation using the correct form:

  • Education Mediation Regulation [School Act] B.C. Reg. 250/2000
  • Notice to Mediate (General) Regulations B.C. Reg. 4/2001
  • Notice to Mediate Regulation [Insurance (Motor Vehicle) Act] B.C. Reg. 127/98
  • Notice to Mediate (Residential Construction) Regulation [Homeowner Protection Act] B.C. Reg. 152/99
  • Notice to Mediate (Family) Regulation

3) What happens after the request is made for the appointment of a mediator? When asked to appoint a mediator, the Society follows the appointment procedure which is outlined in the relevant regulation. The procedure is similar for all of the regulations:

a) The Society, within 7 days after receiving the request, provides to all participants in the action an identical list of possible mediators. The list contains at least 6 names.

b) Under the Notice to Mediate Regulation for motor vehicle actions and the Notice to Mediate (Residential Construction) Regulation: within 10 days after receipt of this list, each participant:

  • may delete up to 2 names from the list,
  • must number the remaining names on the list in order of preference, and
  • must return the amended list to the Society.

Under the Notice to Mediate (General) Regulation, Notice to Mediate (Family) Regulation, and the Education Mediation Regulation: within 7 days after receipt of this list, each participant:

  • may delete up to 2 names from the list,
  • must number the remaining names on the list in order of preference, and
  • must return the amended list to the Society.

c) If a participant does not return the amended list within the required time, the participant is deemed to have accepted all of the names.

d) Within 7 days after the expiry of the time referred to in paragraph (b), the Society selects the mediator from the remaining names on the list. If no names remain on the list, the Society selects from any of its available mediators, whether or not they were included on the original list.

4) How does the Society select the list of mediators provided to the parties?

In making the selections, the Society takes into account the following factors:

  • the need for the mediator to be neutral and independent,
  • the qualifications of the mediator,
  • the mediator's fees,
  • the mediator's availability,
  • the nature of the dispute,
  • the geographic location of the parties and mediation, and
  • any other consideration likely to result in the selection of an impartial, competent and effective mediator.

5) How does the Society then select the mediator?

In making the selection, the Society takes into account the order of preference indicated by the participants on the returned lists of mediators, as well as the factors considered outlined above, including location and availability.

6) How long does it take for a mediator to be appointed?

The length of time for the appointment process is primarily dependent on the time frames provided in the various regulations. (These are described in response to question 3, above.) For the Notice to Mediate (General) Regulation and the Education Mediation Regulation, the maximum length of time for the process is 21 days; for the other Notice to Mediate regulations, the maximum length of time is 24 days.

In practical terms, the length of time for the appointment process may be reduced by various factors - for example, when all participants deliver their amended list of names to the Society before the expiry of the time required by the regulation.

7) Is it possible to withdraw a request if the participants come to an agreement on a mediator while they are waiting for one to be appointed?

In order to withdraw a request for the appointment of a mediator, the participants need only advise the Society in writing that they have mutually agreed on a mediator and that they do not require the Society to appoint one for them. This letter should be forwarded to the Society office as soon as the participants have made such an agreement between themselves.

8) Does the Mediate BC Society charge a fee for appointing a mediator?

The Society does not charge a fee for this, or for any of the other services that it offers.

9) After the mediator is appointed, does the "roster organization" have a further role?

The regulations do not provide for any further involvement by the "roster organization". While the Mediate BC Society is available to answer questions and provide whatever assistance it can after the appointment, it does not have a formal role. The Society collects information on the availability of the participants and mediators on the list provided and distributes this information to all of the parties; however, the Society is not involved in formally scheduling the mediation session.