Meet the Mediator

Darryl Veld is the lead mediator, founder of Niagara Mediation, and a member of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Canada. As a Niagara native, Darryl has enjoyed the regions wine, golf and cultural attractions for over 30 years.

Alternative dispute resolution has been the focus of his academic and professional career. After graduating Brock University with a Bachelor of Arts degree, Darryl began his legal studies at the Michigan State University, College of Law where he ascended to the President of the MSU Law ADR Society before earning a Juris Doctor degree. Two programs in Europe were among the highlights of his studies as he graduated Cultural Relationships in Business in the Netherlands, and was later certified from the Institute of International Commercial Law and Dispute Resolution Croatia. After being called to the New York Bar, Darryl served as an arbitrator at the Vis East Moot in Hong Kong, and the Pre-Moots in Vienna and Budapest.

Given his experience as a mediator and his unique multicultural background, Darryl effectively tailors each mediation to the type of dispute and to the personalities involved. His approach and commitment to each case facilitates positive outcomes and durable settlement agreements that are endorsed by all parties.

Darryl shares his professional time with Brock University as a conflict resolution professional in student affairs. As the owner of Niagara Mediation, he has successfully mediated family disputes, workplace conflict, estate disagreements, and many other issues.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact Niagara Mediation via the Facebook page or email darryl@niagaramediation.ca. Service areas include St. Catharines, Welland, Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Grimsby, Lincoln, Hamilton, Port Colborne, and surrounding areas.

Niagara Mediation Services the entire region

Mediation in Niagara

Niagara Mediation, located near the intersection of Welland Ave and Ontario St. in St. Catharines, services St. Catharines, Welland, Niagara Falls, Grimsby, Port Colborne, Fort Erie, Hamilton, and other areas within the region. 

Evenings and weekend appointments are available to accommodate your needs; Skype or FaceTime meetings are also possible in many cases.

For more information, email darryl@niagaramediation.ca or call (289) 407 5729 for more information.

Mediation dispute

Is My Dispute Appropriate for Mediation?

Mediation is usually well-suited to disputing parties who still have a somewhat amicable relationship, who are still able to negotiate, and who do not want a third-party or judge to make final decisions on their behalf.

Litigation is the traditional method where each party has an attorney and they use the adversarial process to work out an agreement, either by settlement or by trial. Costs associated with attorney fees, court costs, loss of work time, and other costs related to stress and mental health all make for an expensive process. Mediation involves only one lawyer, a mediator, who will help the parties reach an agreement on their own without other attorneys, and will complete the paperwork that the parties will file jointly to dissolve their marriage.

Mediation is not for everyone or every dispute. Mediation is most effective when the parties have the capacity to work together, or at a minimum, to show basic decency and respect throughout the process. Constructive dialogue is essential to a successful agreement.

Also, mediation is most effective when the issues are manageable and the parties have an incentive to reach an agreement. When significant assets are in the balance, it may not be good candidate for mediation because the parties would likely require outside counsel. While the parties could work through these issues through the mediation process, the risk of not having sufficient information may be too high.

Common disputes that are appropriate for mediation include, but are not limited to:

  • Family disputes

    • Often concern custody, asset allocation, spousal support, debt payment, and other issues related to separation
  • Estates

    • Division of assets
    • Disagreement with the personal representative of the estate, etc.
  • Landlord/Tennant and Neighbour Issues

    • Lease disagreements
    • Property lines and previous agreements
    • Payment
    • Noise and physical cleanliness, and others as they arise
  • Consumer and Merchant Disagreements

    • Contract disputes
    • Product satisfaction and safety issues
    • Nonpayment, or failure to render services
  • Small Claims

    • Most matters that involve a sum less than $5,000 are appropriate for mediation
  • Others

    • Everyone has a unique story and we are often confronted with disputes are not typical and/or listed above.

Call or email to arrange a free consultation to see if mediation is appropriate for you.

Basic Steps in the Mediation process

The Mediation Process

As outlined in an earlier blog post, mediation can be quick and cost-saving process that is often effective to resolve your dispute. Listed below are the basic steps that many mediations follow, although circumstances of each case may differ slightly.

Request Assistance.

Upon receipt of an inquiry by one or more parties, Niagara Mediation will reach out to you for a free consultation (usually by phone).

Situation Assessment.

Background information is collected through conversation with each party individually. The concerns and issues are reviewed to determine if mediation is appropriate.

Sign Agreement-to-Mediate. 

An Agreement-to-Mediate signed by all parties to the mediation, this agreement outlines expectations and obligations, including fees, for each party participating in the mediation process.

Mediation.

A lawyer from Niagara Mediation facilitates dialogue through a mediation session that is centered around issues and interests of importance to the parties. We help the parties find common ground, frame resolution options, and negotiate the terms of settlement.

Draft and Sign Settlement Agreement.

We draft a Settlement Agreement (contract) that reflects the terms identified during the Mediation. The Agreement outlines the actions that each party commits to, and what the parties agree to will happen if they don’t.

Mediation Wrap-up.

To bring closure the mediation process, relevant materials are packaged and transferred to the parties, and the parties are encouraged to review the contract with their legal representatives. If the contract is deemed to be agreeable, the Mediator will meet with one party to sign three copies of the Agreement. The Mediator will then consult with the other party (or parties) for signing before (s)he distributes a copy signed by all parties to all involved.

Other Options.

As mediation is voluntary, any of the parties (including the Mediator) may end the mediation at any time. Niagara Mediation can assist with identifying and/or facilitating other ways to resolve the dispute.

what is mediation

What is Mediation?

Mediation is an informal process where an impartial third-party, the mediator, helps two or more parties reach a mutually satisfactory solution to their issue. The mediator guides the parties toward a mutually agreeable settlement by helping them clarify their underlying issues, interests and concerns, and encourages compromise and trade-offs based on the relative importance of each item to each party.

Mediation is forward-looking; the goal is for all parties to work out a solution they can live with and trust. It focuses on solving problems, not uncovering the truth or imposing legal rules.

A Niagara Mediator will not impose a resolution upon the parties since we are not able to make legally binding decisions. Any settlement reached, if in fact one is reached, is simply an agreement signed by the parties just like any other contract. In the event that one party breaches the contract, civil remedies in court are available to the aggrieved party.

At Niagara Mediation, we pride ourselves in providing a timely service for our customers. Your problems become our problems and we don’t tolerate unnecessary stressors to drag on. In many cases, we can resolve the dispute within one month of your first call or email.

Another significant advantage is the cost savings to each party. Usually, the mediation process will save thousands of dollars on legal fees and other costs associated with a formal legal process. We are also proud to offer evening and weekend consultations and will come to your home or office to ensure you will not have to take time off work.

To learn more about the Mediation process, please check this post.