The parties to any action which is being defended must attend a mediation session. Parties cannot be forced to settle but they must attend unless an exemption or a postponement has been granted.
If a party does not attend mediation the court can strike out their claim or defense. The court can also order further mediation sessions at any time.
A mediator will meet with all parties and help you discuss the issues and identify options for resolving your dispute. You will have the chance to work out a solution that is agreeable to both sides in a less adversarial setting than court. You are also in control of the terms of that agreement or final outcome.
The Local Registrar arranges for the session. No judge attends the mediation – just the parties, their lawyers, if they have one, and the trained mediator. Nothing said at mediation can be used later in court.
Evidence directly arising from what was said also cannot be used in court. For example, if someone disclosed the location of a piece of evidence during mediation this information cannot be used to locate the item so it can be entered as evidence at the trial.
PLEA can provide you with information to help you understand many legal matters you, a family member or friend may be facing.