Author Archives: Hilary Linton

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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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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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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CBC Promotes Family Mediation!

Listening to the CBC’s recent program on family law (Ontario Morning, March 12), it became clear to me that separating parents do not always understand their dispute resolution options. Recent changes to the federal and provincial laws require all separating couples to consider trying out-of-court settlement, and many are doing just that. But it can be wildly confusing trying to …
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Identifying and Assessing Family Violence and Power Dynamics

What are the fundamental principles of ADR? What are some basic screening concepts I should know before starting mediation and/or arbitration? What are mediators looking for when assessing for risk?  Learn measures mediators use to balance power and keep parties and children safe. Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) functions with three fundamental principles: ADR is a voluntary process ADR is a …
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The Promise of Family Mediation-Arbitration: Is it Real?

The crisis in access to family law justice has led to many great things happening outside of court. Collaborative practice, for example, has grown from disenchantment with the adversarial legal system’s assumption that positional bargaining necessarily protects the interest of parents and their children. Family mediation has become the go-to solution for both the public– seeking to avoid paying lawyers– …
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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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