Mandatory Mediation: A Comparative Review of How Legislatures in California and Ontario are Mandating the Peacemaking Process In Their Adversarial Systems

Mediation is a process in which a third party neutral intervenes in a dispute to assist the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable resolution.  At its purest, mediation is a voluntary,private and informal process. However, as a modern practice of mediation has developed in North America, lawmakers have taken notice of this alternative method of resolving disputes, and have incorporated mediation into traditional litigation procedure.  In fact, mediation has become a precondition to a formal hearing in some traditional legal systems, such as the respective mandatory mediation programs instituted in California, United States and Ontario, Canada.