Category Archives: Family Mediation

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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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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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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