The Ontario Bar Association honours an outstanding member of the ADR community each year. The award celebrates “exceptional contributions” to the field of alternative dispute resolution.
I am one of the “roasters” at the event, along with my old law school buddy mediator Michael Silver.
So, without ruining the roast, let me tell you what I can about my good friend Barry.
I met Barry when I joined the ADR executive of the bar association. I had “heard” about him before then, of course; everyone in the industry has “heard” of Barry. His reputation is that of a knowledgeable, opinionated, respected, effective and very funny professional.
I immediately liked Barry. Even though he and I approach mediation from entirely different perspectives and practice in completely different ways, I wanted to learn more from him. And so I joined Law Chambers where Barry works and we started teaching an arbitration course together.
I ended up being his right hand when he was the Chair of the ADR section of the OBA, and we had a great and successful year under his leadership. Barry has strong views and clear visions, and he knew where he wanted the group to focus. He was an energetic and inspiring leader, and a terrific mentor.
It is impossible to dislike Barry, and even more impossible to not respect his skill and experience. Barry is a highly successful mediator for a reason– he gets the job done well, and keeps clients and counsel satisfied with the process and the outcomes.
But it is his personal qualities that really make Barry Fisher such a good friend. Barry is remarkably frank and open, and he wears his heart on his sleeve as the expression goes. He is a deeply caring and honest person, and he does what all good mediators do; he puts his whole self into his work.
That is, in my view, what makes Barry stand out among his peers; he truly cares about his work and his clients and his colleagues.
Congratulations my friend!! You more than deserve this award.