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Monday, February 15, 2016

Cost of mediation vs cost of trial

In this blog, you have sometimes seen me talk about the fact that participating in mediation is cheaper than going to trial. Mediation has several other outstanding benefits, of course, but in this post I want to focus on the cost.

In 2015, Canadian Lawyer Magazine published some survey results that are very illuminating. Among them is the average cost of a trial. These numbers are the national average, meaning that trials may cost less in some parts of Canada, and cost more in others. They reflect legal fees only, and do not include court fees, accountant's fees, disbursements, tax, etc. Here are the numbers:

Cost of a 2-day trial $31,330
Cost of a 5-day trial $56,439
Cost of a 7-day trial $81,958

Yikes! $81,000 is an awful lot of money. By contrast, a 2-day mediation, which could well cover all of the same issues as a full week's trial, will cost about $5,000. And that cost is shared among all of the parties participating.

Just some food for thought for those of you who are wondering how on earth you are going to settle matters without going completely broke.

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