League offers community mediation clinic for community members
Disputes exist in every community, such as a couple fighting over child custody or an angry resident whose neighbour consistently shovels snow on his driveway. While some resort to legal action, most people live with the problem either to avoid confrontation or to evade costly lawyer fees.
Happily, there is a way to resolve your problems out of court at the Parkdale Cromdale Community Mediation Clinic on Saturday, Oct. 5 from 4 to 6 pm.
A first of its kind in the community, this open house clinic is an excellent opportunity for residents to access free mediation services offered by lawyer Robert Hainsworth.
Hainsworth studied law at Osgoode Hall Law School. Prior to moving to Edmonton, he practiced family law in British Columbia and actively extended mediation services to local community residents.
Mediation is a process where a neutral person helps disputing parties communicate their issues to each other, understand each other’s point of view, and help those parties reach an agreement away from courts and lawyers.
Why consider mediation?
“Well firstly, engaging a lawyer can be expensive,” Hainsworth points out. “Most problems can be resolved by just having a heart-to-heart conversation.” Legal procedures can also take a lot of time. It is not unusual for simple disputes to take up to a year or more to be resolved. “The decision taken in a mediation procedure is recorded in a document called Minutes of Settlement and it is as binding as the decision in a normal legal proceeding would be,” Hainsworth says. “The only real challenge is in securing the willing participation and commitment of both parties to discuss their problems and arrive at an agreement.”
Admission for this clinic is free. There is a designated parking area behind the league and street parking is also available. Some light refreshments will be available.
The clinic is an open house where people can meet Hainsworth and learn about mediation. If it is an option, interested people can fill out the intake form with the details of the issue to be resolved. Selected applicants will be contacted for further discussion, with preference given to Parkdale-Cromdale residents.
“We are very excited to hold a clinic of this nature. Depending on the response we get, we plan to hold more of these in the future on a larger scale,” says Sarah De Lano, event organiser. Contact De Lano if you wish to volunteer at this event.
Hainsworth moved to Parkdale in February 2019. Hosting the mediation clinic is his way of getting involved as well giving back to the community to which he has a sense of obligation.
“As a lawyer, I feel I am lucky to have learned how the legal systems work. We hold a special place in the neighborhood we live in and it’s our duty to help our neighbours resolve their problems and live in a healthy community.”
Parkdale Cromdale Community League
11335 85 St
Saturday, Oct. 5, 4 to 6 pm
Contact Sarah De Lano: 780.887.6825
Featured Image: It’s possible to resolve conflicts through mediation. | Nazreena Anwar-Travas