Category Archives: Family Mediation

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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Speaking at the OBA Institute on Neuroscience and ADR on February 7 was no exception. 

Here is what I learned: Suzanne Sherkin of Highborn Communications taught me that our brains take short-cuts to the familiar, and that this can be limiting. For example, I did not know that the English language has ten times as many negative words as positive ones, and that the use of these words can send our brains to the familiar …
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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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Voice of the Child in Mobility Cases: an Important Decision

In one of the most compelling decisions I have read in a long time, a British judge decided to disallow a 14-year-old’s proposal to move to another country with father, even though the son gave evidence that he very much wanted to move. It is a touching decision that almost made me cry, mostly because of the profoundly beautiful way …
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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 …
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What is “Custody”? And Why Do Mediators Need to Know?

This week we are teaching our 30-hour course in Family Law for Family Mediators, Parenting Coordinators and Arbitrators. It is a comprehensive overview and is good training for anyone who wants to know more about family law. We start the course discussing what comes first; changes in law or changes in society? For example, there is a social and political …
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