Blog

Family Arbitrators: Protect Your Deductible and Screen Well!

Screening is the first step in all family mediation, collaborative law and arbitration cases. The purpose of screening is to ensure that the parties and the process are a good match. There are two options for doing it well. Either the mediator (or mediator-arbitrator) meets separately with each party, or an independent third party meets them both and provides a …
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Conduct Unbecoming

In a recent case, a judge of the Superior Court of Justice outlined certain behaviour of a respondent-husband that had a real impact on costs. I will concentrate on the behaviour because, during my years on the bench, I was always surprised by lawyers and their parties who were oblivious to the impact their conduct, both prior to and during …
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What does a successful Parenting Coordination client look like?

I spend a considerable amount of time each month talking to prospective clients about various dispute resolution processes. I tell them what my processes look like and what my expectations are for the clients. Recently a client asked how I would describe a successful PC client. It was an excellent question as the more we can explain to clients how …
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Farmer v. Farmer*: Nine Easy Steps to Being a Better Arbitrator

Make sure your equipment is working. An ‘honest’ admission about equipment failure leading to defective reasons is not the kind of honesty you want to be known for. Avoid stark characterizations of the nature of the evidence. Doing this makes it look like the arbitrator either did not understand the evidence or did not take the time to consider it. …
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Arbitration: Sufficiency of Reasons

Judges sometimes make reversible errors that are overturned on appeal; so too with arbitrators. It is not very often, however, that judges or arbitrators have their decisions overturned for lack of sufficiency in their reasons, especially in complicated cases, involving lots of money. It also does not often happen that an appellate judge feels the need to set out a …
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Ontario family mediation: World class excellence

Originally published in The Lawyer’s Daily, June 30, 2021. If Gary Joseph’s opinion is reflective of what Ontario lawyers know about family mediation practice in our province, (June 22, 2021, “Mediation: The unregulated profession“) some serious correction is called for. Family mediation has been a highly functional self-regulating profession since 1984 when Family Mediation Canada (FMC) was created by the …
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Co-Parenting Resources

One of the most important, but often overlooked, part of the parenting coordination (PC) process is parent education and coaching. As PC is not inexpensive, parents are often unable or unwilling to engage in additional costs outside of the consensus and decision-making phase. The resources available for parents to engage in their own education are considerable and extremely accessible. As …
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A Good Case for Family Mediators: Justice Sherr in L.B. and P. E.

As family mediators, we work “in the shadow of the law”. Our job is to help parties reach agreements that are better for them than their alternatives… meaning mediators must know what a court would do with a given situation. We also must put the interests of children first, and decline to mediate parenting outcomes that we believe will not …
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