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Do No Harm: Should I Move Fast or Slow?

Whether you have left an unhappy situation, or are heartbroken about being left by someone you love or need—anxiety around the prospect staying connected to your separated spouse is visceral. For children, the frustration and despair is multiplied.  Children have no control over the decisions of their parents, the spread of the coronavirus, nor the conditions in which they find …
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Best Practices for Addressing Power Imbalances and Safety in Family Dispute Resolution Processes: Research, Protocols and the Law

Introduction With courts, for now, restricting services to all but emergency matters due to COVID-19, the demand for alternative dispute resolution services is growing exponentially. The need is greater than ever to ensure that those processes put issues of power imbalance and safety of clients and children first. Private mediation or adjudication is not appropriate in all cases. Professionals should …
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Book Review: A Guide To Family Arbitration In Ontario, By Stephen Grant And Jenna Preston (Lexis Nexis 2018)

Score: 9.5/10 As a family arbitrator I am always looking for good reading to stay current. I recommend this book highly for anyone doing this work. This thin (just over 100 pages of text), easy-to-read primer is a gem for family arbitrators and parenting coordinators. It is also a great guide for counsel wondering if private adjudication is a good option. …
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Court Upholds Confidentiality of Mediation Intake Forms, Mediator’s File & Screening Notes

Cliff Nelson, Riverdale Mediation & Hilary Linton, Riverdale Mediation and mediate393/311/47 Few legal principles are more sacrosanct than settlement privilege. In family law, where the legal, emotional and physical safety of family mediation is directly connected to its effectiveness, the principle is even more important. And the most sacred of all parts of a family law file are the notes …
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The (Unique) Perils of The PC Process

The parenting coordination process is a difficult one for both clients and PCs. Invariably there is one parent who is more committed; or is driving the process. In addition, once the arbitration phase of the process has been utilized, the losing parent usually disengages altogether. Throw in the fact that many parents have not been fully educated on the process …
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The Tenacious Mediator: Ten tips for “Moving the Mediation”

If there are three qualities that distinguish a good mediator from a great one, they are: Dangerous curiosity: great mediators are not afraid to follow their curiosity. This takes high level questioning skills to do effectively. In particular it requires gentle, non- judgmental, open-ended questions. Genuine curiosity is easy but it requires the mediator to completely set aside any preconceived …
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Sustainable Peace, Mediation, and the Status of Women and Girls

By: Mina Vaish and Archana Medhekar   In March of 2018, the Canadian delegation consisting of Archana Medhekar, Tricia Morris and I joined eighteen other international mediators for the Mediators Beyond Borders’ international (MBBI) delegation to the 62nd session of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York (CSW62).    The session was the largest ever Commission held in …
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A Fondness for 311 Jarvis

I have a particular fondness for the court at 311 Jarvis St in Toronto. As a young family lawyer, it was where I felt most at home. The judges were kind and down-to-earth, completely committed to family law, compassionate and no-nonsense. They were gracious to those of us who didn’t always know what they were doing. Having come from a civil litigation …
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