Category Archives: Mediation-Arbitration

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 …

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 …

Participating in the Open Bar Lecture at 311 Jarvis

 I recently attended one of the great “Open Bar” lectures at 311 Jarvis St— the Ontario Court of Justice in downtown Toronto. It is remarkable that in the court, after hours, gather leaders of the Toronto family law bar, dispute resolution community and judiciary who are working with the most vulnerable of Toronto families at a difficult time in their lives. It …

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 …

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 …

Best Practices for Screening in Family Mediation-Arbitration

Best practices for screening family mediation and arbitration cases for power imbalances and domestic violence.

Family Med-Arb: It’s time to set some standards in Ontario

During Ontario’s first FDRweek there was a well-attended workshop on family mediation-arbitration. Led by highly respected BC mediator-arbitrator Carol Hickman Q.C., the theme was clear: there are no standards of practice for family mediation-arbitration in Ontario and they are needed. The “med-arb” process has become flavour of the month in family law. Most lawyers routinely add a clause in their …

Screening: Best Practices in Family Med-Arb

Screening is important in any family dispute resolution process to ensure that the parties, counsel, and dispute resolution professionals can engage in the process fully and safely. In family med-arb, there are particular concerns for the integrity of the screening process, because if the parties proceed to arbitration, they are “locked in” and cannot voluntarily opt out of the process. …