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Employment and Labour Mediation 

David Spears, Employment and Labour Mediator

About David

David has over 20 years of experience practising Labour and Employment Law, representing management as well as workers and employees. David studied at Cornell University's Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution, where he focused on employment matters. He is also certified as a Professional Mediator. 


Areas of focus

  • Wrongful dismissal litigation

  • Employment disputes of all kinds

  • Human rights disputes 

  • Workplace investigations - harassment, discrimination, bullying and employee misconduct

  • Sports disputes - team selection, harassment, discrimination

  • Labour relations matters

  • Church employment and governance disputes

  • Community involvement 

David has served on several boards and gives of his time to various charitable and not-for-profit organizations. 


Employment Law Mediator Training

Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, 2022

Bar Admission 

Ontario, 2000


University of Windsor, 1998


University of Waterloo, 1995


100 Queen St Suite 700, Ottawa, ON K1P 1J9




Services and Fees

Mediation is an opportunity to come to a solution — with the help of a mediator — that both sides agree upon. You can avoid court.

Mediation is a relatively informal process in which an independent and impartial neutral party (the Mediator) helps the parties involved in a dispute to negotiate a mutually acceptable and binding resolution. The Mediator facilitates the process by helping the parties identify the issues and address impediments to settlement and guiding the parties in their negotiations to find an acceptable solution. The Mediator does not decide the case, impose a solution, or assign blame. The Mediator does not give legal advice, but they should have a good understanding of workplace law in order to assist the parties in assessing their respective cases and evaluating a reasonable range for settlement.

Half-day or full-day mediation services in person or via Zoom. 

Half day - $1,500

Full day - $2,500

  • What types of cases can be mediated?
    Virtually any workplace dispute can be mediated. Almost any type of employment dispute can be mediated, including wrongful dismissal cases, bullying, discrimination or harassment cases, contractual disputes, interpersonal conflict, discipline and performance cases, and pay equity matters.
  • What are the benefits of mediation?
    Confidential. Quick. In your control. Less expensive. Confidentiality – Mediation allows the parties to resolve their dispute without any concern of publicity. Only the parties have access to the process, and no one records the proceedings. In fact, things said at a mediation are “off the record” and cannot be used by either party in court if the matter isn’t settled. Control – Mediation allows the parties to decide on a resolution that makes sense to them; the parties can be creative in what that might look like and can address issues that they may not be able to deal with in court. Business relationships can be salvaged, and even strengthened, through a mediation. In a litigated outcome, a judge or arbitrator will decide a case – based upon producible evidence and applicable law – and they do not have the same kind of flexibility. The only certainty with a court process is the cost for both sides. Cost – Mediation is not nearly as costly as a full court case. It is an opportunity for both parties to save a tremendous amount of legal fees. Quicker – Mediation can often resolve disputes in a fraction of the time that a court case would take. Parties are not bogged down with a long and emotionally draining and organizationally taxing process. Individuals are able to move on with their lives, and businesses can focus on productive issues.
  • What to expect at mediation?
    An informal and low-pressure environment where things can be worked out. Mediation does not have the formality of a court process and the parties have a good deal of say in what it might look like. That being said, there are a few things that you can expect in a mediation: After scheduling a mediation, your lawyer will prepare a mediation brief that sets out the basic facts of the case, the issues in dispute and a party’s position on the issues. The mediation brief should also include the parties’ pleadings and any documents that are important to the dispute. Any accommodations – e.g. interpretation, accessible facilities – that are needed to allow a party to fully participate are addressed at the outset. Mediation is typically held at one of the parties’ lawyer’s offices. Each side settles into a boardroom, where they are free to discuss their case with their lawyer. Sometimes the mediation will be held at a neutral location, but there is an additional cost for the venue in that case. At the mediation, the parties may start in the same room, and as the mediation progresses, move to separate rooms. Alternatively, and more commonly now, the parties start and remain in separate rooms throughout. At the outset of the mediation, the mediator will typically provide an opening statement setting out some basic rules to which the parties are to adhere and discuss the process and the goals of the process. Each lawyer (or the parties themselves) will provide an opening statement through which they set out for the mediator (and the other party if they are in the same room) their position and interests in the dispute, the impact things have had on them and a general idea about what they hope to accomplish in mediation. The mediator will then explore with each party their position on things, facts and weaknesses in their case, what they might consider in resolving things, areas where they are willing to compromise or not, offers to settle etc.. the mediator will shuttle between the parties to see if the “gap” can be closed or narrowed and ultimately what a mutually agreeable settlement might look like. When the parties reach an agreement the terms are put in writing and signed by the parties.
  • What kind of an outcome can I expect?
    An outcome that is better than the risk of a court trial. Mediations often result in a complete settlement of all the differences between the parties. If that happens, the agreement is written down, signed and copies made for all. The settlement is binding and can be enforced by either party. Sometimes though a complete settlement isn’t possible and, instead, the parties agree to meet again, or they continue with litigation. As settlement at mediation is voluntary, either party is free to end the process and continue with the court process.


Monthly Calendar

Contact David

100 Queen St Suite 700, Ottawa, ON K1P 1J9


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