Category Archives: Collaborative Practice

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– …

Reviewing the Best Book a Family Law Lawyer Could Read in 2017

This book was published in late 2017, and its title is a mouth full; Settling Family Law Cases: Practical Techniques for Advocates and Neutrals. However, the book itself is in chewable pieces, many of which are truly savoured. The author is Mr. Lorne Wolfson, a Toronto family lawyer, mediator, arbitrator, and partner at Torkin Manes. However, this is not really …

From Jennifer Lawrence to Aceh, Indonesia

The annual United Nations Commission on the Status of Women is an inspiring event that, in a perfect world, every single woman should attend. Attending as a Canadian mediator and trainer, I was struck by how much is happening in the rest of the world that is unfamiliar to me in my privileged “first” world life. It is an eye-opening, …

Save the Date for Mediators Beyond Borders International’s Parallel Event at the 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61)

I am honoured to be joining several highly accomplished women mediators, negotiators and leaders in New York for this exciting panel “Peacebuilding Beyond 2017: Women as Agents of Change” on Tuesday, March 21st. Our dialogue will explore how we can foster gender equity and create lasting economic empowerment opportunities for women. The event, sponsored by Mediators Beyond Borders International, is …

Mediate Like a Roman

What does a mediator do? In helping to understand what a mediator is & what a mediator does I have gone to Latin sources. I refer the reader to the Latin word interpres (which came to me on my phone today as my Latin Word of the Day). This word means a middleman, “an agent between two parties, mediator, broker, …

Professionalism & Ethics in Family Law: The Other 90%

NOTE: Deanne Sowter* recently wrote and contributed this article to the Winkler Institue for Dispute Resolution website  As the 2015/16 OBA Foundation Chief Justice of Ontario Fellow in Legal Ethics and Professionalism Studies, and with the support of The Winkler Institute for Dispute Resolution, I am conducting a research project on the links between research and practice, involving empirical research on ethical …

Family Dispute Resolution Brings Changing Needs in the Profession

The family dispute resolution (FDR) field has grown exponentially over the past ten years. This has been in response to the changes occurring in family law generally: more unrepresented people, backlogs in some courts, frustration with a non-specialist family law bench, lawyers becoming disenchanted with the traditional adversarial approaches, increased awareness of the prevalence of family violence, growth in communities …

Can mediation and collaborative law work together?

How can clients in collaborative practice work with a mediator to save costs and help reach agreements?