Author Archives: Hilary Linton

Top Ten Questions about Screening for Power Imbalances and Domestic Violence in Mediation and Arbitration

1.What is “Screening”? Screening is a triaging process that has been used by mediators for years to help them provide safe and balanced mediations. The mediator meets separately with each party, before agreeing to take the case, and elicits specific information that will help the mediator “diagnose” their complex relationship dynamic. The main purpose is to ascertain whether bringing the …
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Family Mediation in Cape Town, South Africa

In late September, the Family Mediators’ Association of the Cape (FAMAC) hosted its third bi-annual conference and I was honoured to be a returning international guest speaker. This year I spoke on “Empowering Parents Through Interest-Based Mediation and Facilitative Parenting Coordination”.   (Note: all the conference presentations are available on the FAMAC website) The Conference was opened by my wonderful …
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When is Family Mediation Appropriate?

When is family mediation appropriate? Mediation is probably appropriate when all/most of the following conditions exist: The parties appear to both be willing to try mediation in order to find an acceptable settlement. Each party is able to articulate to the mediator his or her own positions and the reasons behind those positions. Both advise that they feel they will be …
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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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Training Police Officers in Belize

GUEST POST By Helen Lightstone and Regina Thompson Our team of elite trainers from Riverdale headed for Belize before the break of dawn on Sunday, July 15, 2018. The Belize Team consisting of Hilary Linton, Lead Trainer, Helen Lightstone and Regina Thompson checked in at Pearson International with a heavy load of training materials. We were soon off to Miami …
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Family Law Course Goes High-Tech/Low Cost!

In January we offered four interactive days of instruction to students across Ontario using live webcast technology. Students avoided the time and expense of travel to Toronto, accommodations and eating out for four days. They loved that they could take the course from their homes or offices. One of our students had a child at home who fell ill, and …
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Training Parenting Coordinators and Dispute Resolution Professionals in PEI

Over the past year we have had the privilege of working with a group of family dispute resolution professionals in PEI who are pioneering parenting coordination there. Parenting coordination (PC) is an innovative mediation, coaching, educative and decision-making process that offers high-conflict parents a way to resolve disagreements about their children without going before a judge. It is usually 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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