Mediation Testimonials

Teaching / Training Testimonials

Mediation Testimonials

Family and Civil Mediation Testimonials from Clients

  • I just wanted to take the opportunity to thank-you (Hilary Linton) for your help and guidance yesterday. You were a very calming presence in the room, in a situation that could have been even more heated than it was at times. (August, 2015)
  • It was a pleasure to have Hilary facilitate a mediation between my ex and myself. I was made to feel comfortable throughout  the process.  Hilary made sure I understood everything throughout the mediation. I had the opportunity to meet separately with my lawyer or advisor as well as Hilary and her intern and associates all of whom were very capable and knowledgeable. Hilary’s  intern eloquently confirmed that it was indeed a successful mediation as each of us left unhappy but relieved that it was over without the tremendous expense of an extensive and expensive trial and continued stress. I felt supported by Hilary throughout and am so grateful for having gone through the mediation process with her and her team. (October, 2012)
  • I just want to say thank you to both you and Regina once again for assisting me in moving forward and reducing the conflict for me, my daughter, and the rest of my family. I think you ‘handled’ both parties very well.Best regards,”J”
  • Hilary and Kim: Thanks again for helping us with our separation — we couldn’t have done it without you.
  • Thank-you once again for your work and for making calmer heads prevail.
  • I don’t know if I’ll be able to settle matters with B, but this is the closest we’ve ever been and we got here ONLY with your help. For some reason, these expensive lawyers can’t make it work but somehow you do???!!! I hope everything works out. But regardless, I just wanted to let you know I think very highly of you and all your work does not go unnoticed!
  • Thank you for your time today and for your kind and tactful demeanour with both of us. Rats, where were you six years ago?
  • Thank you for meeting with us today and for your patience. It has been difficult to discuss these topics with P. and you made a big difference for me in rationally discussing the topic with him.
  • I wanted to let you know that J. and I have finalized our separation. I have learnt much from this experience — the most valuable lesson is get to know who is the true person you are negotiating with, and then determine the negotiating strategy. Your advice was right on — figure out what is it that I need. Thanks again for your help and all the best to you. I will definitely call on you should we need to go through dispute resolution again.
  • I really appreciated what you have crafted and the clarity and detail of the draft agreement is reassuring and comforting to me. Thank you.
  • Thank you for all your help during this most unhappy time. I appreciated your letter last week and take seriously your note regarding protecting the children from the conflict.
  • The attainment of a divorce, and some closure, is a massive accomplishment. I can’t thank you enough for that. There are lots of other good aspects of the agreement too which will become apparent as the years go on. Thank you again, you have done my kids and I a great service.
  • Thank you for your continued guidance and support. Mediation has I believe been the best way for J. and I to work through what is best for our kids and fair to both of us.
  • I thank you again for your fairness and compassion in dealing with us.
  • You should know that today you engineered the most civil conversation my ex and I have had in several years.
  • Thank you for all your hard work during our mediation. We really appreciate all your sincere efforts to make the mediation fruitful.
  • Hilary for all your work. (My lawyer) and I had a chat yesterday and both felt you did a great job. Without you, we wouldn’t have an agreement now.
  • Hilary, many thanks for your very professional help in our very difficult matter. It looks like we are going toward an agreement and could put an end to the destruction of our families. Thanks again, again and again.
  • …thank you for the follow up. Something I rarely see these days professionally. Yes, everything is settled and you can close the file. We are both moving forward and our daughter continues to be the focus of our new “partnership”. Thank you for your help.

Mediation Testimonials from Lawyers

  • I want to thank you (Hilary) for your great work on the file and bringing the parties to resolution. – Toronto Lawyer, 2015
  • Hilary, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your very hard work on behalf of [our clients]. I wanted to let you know that they recently settled their dispute and that your work was instrumental in the matter’s resolution. – Thomas MacLennan, Barrister and Solicitor
  • Hilary: I’m impressed. My client tells me you were able to broker a deal today. Well done.  Robert Lawson, Toronto Lawyer.
  • Elizabeth successfully mediated a resolution using her knowledge and
    professionalism. She also demonstrated significant patience,
    understanding and the ability to manage difficult parties with unusual
    family dynamics. Without these traits, a resolution would not have been
    possible.  I would attend with her again and I have already recommended
    her services to others.  Annie Kenet, Family Law Lawyer.
  • A brief note of thanks for your work on this case. They have been fighting for almost two years, and you finished it off Monday. I really appreciate your efforts, as does my client.  Family lawyer
  • I have known Hilary for many years: as a lawyer in our community; as a partner in our law firm; and as a very respected mediator. Hilary is a highly-regarded mediator with a sense of commitment and a clarity that is much appreciated by clients. She has the ability to… diffuse and reduce the conflict and to help instill focus and rationality at a difficult time…. I believe that Hilary is providing an excellent family mediation service and I have no hesitation in highly recommending her to both clients and counsel.— Sheila Holmes, Barrister and Solicitor
  • Your experience with pensions and your background research was invaluable in bringing these parties closer together. Your mediation skills are excellent, we came a long way with your help.— M. Michael Title, Certified Specialist in Civil Litigation
  • As a family law lawyer I find it very helpful to work with Hilary as a mediator…. I can say that I trust Hilary’s good judgment in working with both men and women to solve the problems arising out of their marriage breakdown. She is even-handed and fair minded,  and as such is a great assistance to me in knowing how to proceed when the going gets rough. Hilary and I both believe in lawyers and mediators working together, collaboratively, to help people reach a good settlement. We both believe in win-win situations, and are distrustful of any unbalanced settlement.— Sandra Demson, Barrister and Solicitor (retired)
  • I have known Ms. Linton since her days as a practicing lawyer and I have worked with Ms. Linton since 2001 on many mediated settlements in the family law area. Ms. Linton works with families in crisis in a fair, equitable and balanced manner. I would highly recommend her as an excellent mediator for family law clients.— Mary Reilly, Barrister and Solicitor
  • I am a huge proponent of alternative dispute resolution including mediation or mediation/arbitration. I have in the past used Riverdale Mediation’s services with much success…… they are direct, reasonable and efficient.— Gary A. Stern, Barrister & Solicitor
  • I wanted to thank you for your brilliant assistance in settling the X file yesterday.  Your candor, integrity and thoughtfulness when dealing with the clients are skills that I respect and value. I am joyfully satisfied with the settlement . — Toronto family lawyer

Teaching / Training Testimonials

Introduction to ADR Course

  • Family lawyers should consider the education and training offered by Hilary Linton and Riverdale Mediation to be mandatory professional development. Hilary and Elizabeth methodically teach the theory and practice of interest-based negotiation, rapport building and conflict management. More importantly, the diverse group of professionals that Riverdale attracts creates a unique learning environment for the exchange of fresh perspectives and novel ideas in the arena of family conflict. Hilary’s program is well designed for Family law specialists who wish to hone their skills and become better listeners, counsellors, negotiators and advocates. This should be a required program for any Family lawyer, including the most seasoned counsel, who need to sharpen their skills and be better equipped to serve separating parents and families.  Steve Benmor, B.Sc., LL.B., LL.M (Family), C.S., Chair of OBA’s Family Law Executive (2013-15)
  • Excellent sequence and logic to presentation of material; Very engaging and interesting – April 2015 participant
  • (What I liked most about the course was)…Building on what we are learning and leading to finally getting into the process and flow of mediation. (As well) The wonderful people with whom we studied (with).
    April 2015 participant
  • I wish I had taken this course earlier in my practice. It would have changes the way I approach my family law cases. — January 2014 participant
  • Excellent course! Kept my attention. Lots of variety. – Linda Bleau
  • Really enjoyed the course and benefitted greatly from the material shared and the expertise of all the presenters. Hilary was incredible. Thank you! – Lea Diakoloukas
  • This course has a philosophical base but [also the] practical use of complicated concepts such as conflict, negotiation and skills building through role play. – Archana Medhekar

  • Opportunity to think differently and challenge assumptions. – Margarida Pacheco

Basic Family Mediation and Negotiation Course

  • I really enjoyed the use of examples that the instructors would provide in their presentations. As well, I enjoyed when we would have small group discussions to view other class members approaches to the material – Hailey Levine
  • Knowledgeable teachers – May 2015 course participant
  • I really enjoyed the speakers, as they each contributed to something different from one another. The all tied in well together. – May 2015 course participant
  • Best mediation course I have taken. – Ed Pundyk
  • This course equipped me to design the mediation process, and gave me broader understanding of real world of mediation. – Archana Medhekar, Family Law Lawyer
  • Riverdale’s approach to mediation: fair, transparent, facilitative, thorough, intentional. – Joelle Therriault
  • I really enjoyed the use of examples that the instructors would provide in their presentations. As well, I enjoyed when we would have small group discussions to view other class members approaches to the material.
    May 2015 course participant
  • Great course. You packed a lot in. – Steve Benmor, Family Law Lawyer
  • Teachers are very knowledgeable and provide real-life stories to show relevance of discussions and provide excellent constructive feedback. Interaction with classmates from a lot of different areas provided a wider understanding. – Malora Whitman
  • This has been the best experience that I have had as an adult learner in a training. What made it so was the theory taken into practice with coaches and paid actors. Fantastic! — Spring 2013 participant
  • This course was excellent, a great emphasis on skills and background materials for lawyers and non-lawyers alike. Very enjoyable and good value. — Coreen Waters
  • Overall, an excellent course. I have already recommended it to colleagues.— Aaron Franks
  • This course had the right amount of theory/research. The coaching was supportive but also instructive. Although I find role plays excruciating, they are perhaps the most useful aspect of this kind of training. Great course!- Lene Madsen
  • The course was extremely informative, presented well by various professionals who were able to provide different perspectives. Very comprehensive, a terrific learning experience.
  • Outstanding expertise. Thanks to the three of you for advancing my practice skills.— Mary Kay Arundel
  • If all mediators are as sincere as you guys then my faith in mediation is restored!
  • You were all great and work very nicely together. Congratulations!
  • The provided material is a most valuable resource for my library. Thank you!
  • The feedback during and after the role-plays was the most valuable way for me to integrate and apply the theory and practice skills.
  • The three presenters provided a good mix of styles, backgrounds and unique cases for discussion. They were organized and also flexible. The course was well-organized and presented, using a good blend of techniques. I look forward to the advanced course!— Dr. Dan Ashbourne
  • There was lots of new content, and content that I knew already was reviewed in a refreshing way.
  • Great materials!
  • I want to express to you and Karen my strong gratitude for the excellent and stimulating mediation training offered last week. All of us are so enthusiastic about our experience last week in Rankin Inlet.  It was most memorable.  Janet Rowsell

Advanced Family Mediation and Negotiation Course

  • Lots of good information and discussion of working in difficult mediation situations.  — Diane Wagner
  • Hilary and the Riverdale team provided the best family mediation course training I have experienced. I highly recommend this course.  — Paul De Buono
  • The varied very competent slate of presenters/coaches provided us, the learner, with a wealth of experiences and information. The fact that no-one pretended to know all made this course very attractive, natural and high quality.
  • Really broadened my perspective on how mediation can be used. I am really glad I took this course so soon after the introduction course. It met and exceeded my expectations. All the instructors were great, the students were a nice addition and it was a wonderful, diverse group. — Carol-Jane Parker
  • Great course Hilary. I really enjoyed it. Both Heather Swartz and Barbara Benoliel’s contributions were great (Barbara Fidler too – her insight is always interesting). Thanks.
  • I thoroughly appreciated the actors. Their skill levels allowed us to experience more fully the mediation. The role plays were very powerful in showing us the shift from a mediation to restorative justice healing circle. The course content was just about right in that the information was in great depth on some things, having the role plays and working then was invaluable.
  • Role plays with the actors made it easier to believe roles and positions… much more effective.
  • Your mix of actors and students added great value to this course. Excellent cases were chosen. Bringing in different presenters each day helped to keep up everyone’s energy and focus. Good examples came from having different people talk about their learning by doing examples and scenarios. Your group are very good presenters and clearly promote the field of mediation.— Dr. Dan Ashbourne

30 Hour Family Law Course for Educators and Mental Health Professionals

  • I was quite impressed with the material, agenda, and presentation! [Elizabeth had a] great ability to bring clarity to the class and address myths. – Lee-Ann Menard
  • This was an excellent exploration and discussion of family law and arbitration and will be invaluable to my work.
  • Great group. Covered a lot of material. Written resources very helpful.
  • Excellent. Thank you. Very thorough. Great examples.
  • Very knowledgeable and I learned a lot from Hilary. I liked her teaching style as she spoke about relevant topics and made the learning very practical.
  • This was a great course, and very well planned. The discussions, summaries, and lectures were very easy to understand and really showed me how much I enjoy family law.
  • Hilary really helped me understand family law as a beginner who has done no training.
  • Very intense, interesting, excellent text and readings, excellent instructors.

Law Student Testimonials

  • Great professor—she worked really hard!! Course was really valuable.
  • Great January term course, breaks the usual law school mode…. Most involved, interactive class I’ve ever taken here.
  • Amazing course!
  • Excellent!
  • “Loved Hilary as a prof. It’s very enriching to have a practitioner teach the course.
  • Learned a lot and obviously very knowledgeable in this area. I feel that I’ve learned many practical skills.
  • Thanks Hilary: I really liked the course. (I am now MUCH more interested in this area after taking this course.)
  • Overall VERY effective teacher, very approachable and knowledgeable and created a great class environment.
  • I’ve never had a practitioner who has so much knowledge to share AND is able to effectively communicate the knowledge AND genuinely take the time to teach. THANK YOU!!!
  • I thoroughly enjoyed the course. It was valuable and applicable to more than just family law. A great benefit to future practitioners. Learned real world skills. Great job! Thanks!!
  • Provision of real-life professional examples was very helpful. Ms. Linton’s own experience enriched the course.

Screening for Family Violence, Abuse, and Power Imbalances

  • The depth and overall material covered in this course was very helpful – April 2015 course participant
  • I enjoyed the seminar immensely. Not only was it applied learning, the group size was ideal. Hands down it was the best I have been to in over 10 years. – Paul Litow, Three Fingers Mediation, Homedale, Idaho
  • I really like the ability to relate to the course through actual practice. It was also really good to have practice & feedback. – April 2015 course participant
  • I learned so much about the value and importance of screening for family violence. I am not a lawyer or a MH professional, so all of this was wonderful learning.
    April 2015 course participant
  • [Hilary is a] wonderful presenter and easy to listen to! – Amanda Lacey
  • Loved working with the actors – it was immensely helpful, as was getting feedback from mentors, actors, and students. Also, Joyce is a great mentor!
    April 2015 course participant
  • This course was eye-opening and something all lawyers should consider taking. The course provided a great review of how lawyers should conduct intakes and initial meetings with clients. – Leonardo Mongillo
  • I really benefited from the role plays and feedback. It has been an engaging three days. I will take away a lot of new information. – April 2015 course participant
  • Well-organized, great resources, and useful, practical discussions. – Cori Kalinoswki
  • Excellent content, thorough presentations, great interaction with participants, thought-provoking opportunity to reflect on prior cases and prepare for upcoming cases –inclusive of all types of processes (negotiation, CP, mediation, med-arb). – Deborah Graham
  • The theory and skills presented here are highly relevant to the work of family lawyers. This is not just training for people who want to do ‘touchy-feely’ mediation! It is focused training on how to bargain better, how to get a better outcome for your client, how to make sure that you and your client know how to prepare effectively for 4-way meetings, negotiations, mediation or arbitration— and how to advocate for your client when the other side is unrepresented. — Madam Justice Victoria Starr
  • Quality of this course was awesome and the screening tools presented are great.— Marlene James
  • This course has really added a new dimension to how I will screen my cases going forward. — Ismaili CAB Screening course participant

  • Gave me tremendous information, new skill-sets and food for thought.
  • Anyone serious about making mediation a career must take the course by Riverdale. — Ismaili CAB Screening course participant

  • Interactive, informative, proactive and compelling. — Ismaili CAB Screening course participant
  • Substance was very eye-opening. — CLEBC Screening course participant

  • Hilary is fantastic in creating a knowledge base and making it meaningful for my practice. — CLEBC Screening course participant
  • Great speaker and coaches – very engaging, non-condescending, open to questions of any kind, great materials. — CLEBC Screening course participant

  • Hilary is excellent and good at handling difficult questions. She is a skilled teacher of the highest order. — CLEBC Screening course participant
  • The presenters were very experienced, empathic and provided the essentials in assessing for DV. I found the discussions particularly enjoyable and thought provoking.
  • The course was designed and expertly presented in a manner that encouraged important and provocative discussion. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks.
  • I found it to be very comprehensive. It was useful to have the various DV screening tools, all the suggestions on what to say when terminating a mediation. Enjoyed all the insightful anecdotes from Hilary and Claudette and discussions about effectiveness of med-arb.
  • It was a great two days. Thanks very much. I learned and enjoyed. The discussions were provocative and stimulating, and as we said raise many questions….all of which is good.
  • I am sure I speak on behalf of all attendees when extending our gratitude for an expertly presented seminar. It was a terrific forum for important and candid discussion. Our family law bar and its related professionals face some fascinating challenges that go to the core of the manner in which we resolve family law disputes. It was a privilege to participate in these discussions with all of you and it made me proud to be associated with such a committed and caring group of professionals. Thank you.
  • Excellent discussion of issues which need attention and development of go forward plan.
  • Thank you for an entertaining and interesting two days. There is much to consider, and over the next several weeks I will be thinking about the Correct Approach.
  • This was 14 hours in May well-spent.
  • Great insight into the process; experience as mediators came through….. good cross-section of attendees led to great discussions.
  • Thorough and comprehensive review of domestic violence indicators and interview protocol. Reading material extremely useful and generous. Interactive style of the course was great!
  • Materials very good; well-organized; provides for re-visiting and referencing. Your experience and insight provided a basis for meaningful answers and insights over a broad range of mediation issues.
  • The depth of subject of subject matter was really appreciated.
  • Presenters were very knowledgeable and provoked much discussion in group. Material helpful and awareness-raising.
  • Group size generated many interesting discussions.
  • I liked the role plays and interactive exercises. I enjoyed many of the discussions. Precedents and research materials were excellent.
  • Informative and relevant.
  • Lively but thoughtful discussion on procedure and process.
  • You did an excellent job of delivering the training and I genuinely appreciate your dedication to the job at hand. You added a lot of value to the process. Thanks.

Parenting Coordination

  • I loved Jared, he is an excellent instructor! I got so much from him. He kept me engaged the entire two days.
  • The course info was well covered and applicable to the topic! Trainer was excellent and engaging…self-reflective and insightful.
  • Very informative…good materials, thoroughly enjoyed the course.
  • Very engaged, knowledgeable presenters. Good balance between Clinicians and Legal Professional.
  • Thorough Overview.
  • I enjoyed the personal experience / stories. This is hard work! The practical information is invaluable.
  • Better understanding of the process and role of PC.
  • It was very informative. I appreciated the group discussions.

Specialized/Customized Training

40-Hour Mediation Training (IMPACT Justice, Caribbean) – Spring / Fall 2016

  • The level of interaction and how interactive and friendly the facilitators were. Even though some of the material was unfamiliar to our culture, the facilitators made it easy for us to feel confident in carrying out our roles.
  • This course help to dissolve my compassionate self in a heated dispute both personally and professionally and provides the insight to recognize the issues that dysfunctional communication. Everything about the course was well put together.
  • I like how speakers interact with everyone, the way they made things so easy, group discussions…they were really great.
  • (What I liked most was) The inclusion of multicultural considerations and the focus on power dynamics in mediation.
  • The way we were not just placed on the spot to do the role plays, but we were given time and the instructor were with us to clarify any given situations or difficulties when occurred before we actually did the role plays.
  • The ability of the facilitator to be able to effectively disseminate information and make use of practical scenario’s to apply the knowledge gained.
  • I love the role play and the way the presenters made sure we understood all that was said and when they did the summary after each class.
  • It was very informative especially coming from not having any information about mediation.
  • The ability of the coaches/speakers to explain and hand information to the students in a manner all could understand. They interacted with students at all levels. Enjoyed every minute of this course.
  • The interactions between all facilitators between the entire group was outstanding.
  • I like the energy of speakers and the sessions were excellent and delivered well.
  • The different techniques that can be applied when dealing with conflict. The terms ESP, PIE, BATNA, etc.  The pie charts provided were amazing. The experience was overwhelming.

Strategies and Skills for Successful Facilitation (Durham Children’s Aid Society) – January 2016

  • On Jan. 7th and 8th 2016, we had the pleasure of being trained in “Strategies and Skills for Successful Facilitation”, delivered to us by Hilary Linton of Riverdale Mediation. We are currently in the process of developing the capacity to deliver internal Family Network Meetings for the purposes of enhancing our collaborative work with families, youth and children, their extended families and our community partners. Although we have had training in both Signs of Safety and Family Finding, we identified a further need to refine our facilitation and mediation skills to ensure our ability to lead these Family Network meetings to the very best of our ability.Hilary’s two day training was exceptional in this regard. She was well prepared, informative and provided us with relevant information that we will be sure to make good use of moving forward. Hilary’s well researched and proven strategies were both practical and relevant to us. We were able to practice our new skills under her guidance and supervision which then allowed us the opportunity to internalize our new learning in a supportive environment. Hilary was quick to make an assessment of our learning needs and she was flexible in adjusting her curriculum accordingly. Her teaching style of calm confidence and willingness to support us in the best way possible encouraged our engagement in her training opportunity. I would highly recommend Hilary Linton to anyone who is seeking advanced training in facilitation skills.– Cheryl Jeffery, Service Supervisor, Durham Children’s Aid Society

Coaching in the ADR Context (ADR Institute of Manitoba) – June 2015

  • After 23 years in the conflict resolution field, I still learn and I learned from Hilary and the others in this workshop…most valuable. – Chris Freeman