As the sidebar panel to my blog indicates, I now have my Master
of Laws in Alternative Dispute Resolution and I have begun to work
as a mediator as part of my practice. It occurs to me, however,
that there may be some readers of this blog who aren't clear on
the meaning of the phrase.
Alternative dispute resolution, or ADR, refers to methods of
resolving disputes without litigating them through to a trial. The
most common methods of ADR are arbitration and mediation.
Arbitration is a process which has a number of similarities to
litigation. In arbitration, however, the parties choose an
individual to act in the role of a judge. The parties will usually
make up their own procedural rules, which may or may not reflect
the types of procedural rules that govern litigation proceedings,
and the arbitrator chosen by the parties will conduct a hearing and
render a decision in a way that is similar to what a judge would
There are a number advantages and disadvantages to arbitration
compared to litigation. I have commented on this in a video I
prepared some time ago which you can find at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_mZnOUmnhs.
I have been trained as an arbitrator and I am on the roster of
the Canadian Commercial Arbitration Centre. So if you are involved
in an arbitration, either because you are a party to a contract
containing an arbitration clause and a dispute has arisen, or
because you are involved in a dispute with someone who has agreed
with you to refer the matter to arbitration as opposed to
litigation, I would be happy to assist.
Mediation is completely different. A mediator is a non-party
neutral who is hired by parties to a dispute, to try to help them
settle their dispute without going through a lengthy and expensive
trial. Unlike an arbitrator, a mediator does not conduct a hearing
and has no power whatsoever to make decisions or require anyone to
In Toronto, where I practice, and in a few other cities in
Ontario, mediation is a mandatory part of the litigation process.
Cases commenced in this jurisdiction must go through mediaion
before they can be called for trial. In other jurisdictions,
mediation during the course of a lawsuit is voluntary.
Naturally, there is no rule that prohibits parties from
mediating a dispute even before a lawsuit has started.
Most of the training that I received in my LLM course related to
mediation. One of the papers that I authored during the course,
which I entitled "The Role of Anger in Mediation", was
published in September 2013 in a publication called the
Advocate's Quarterly (Vol. 41, No. 4). If anyone is interested
in reading the article and cannot locate it online, please feel
free to e-mail me.
It's not often that our little blog intersects with such titanic struggles as the U.S. presidential race – and by using the term "titanic" I certainly don't mean to suggest that anything disastrous is in the future.
J.J. v. C.C., is an interesting case in which the court held that an automotive garage owes a duty to minor children to secure the vehicles on the premises by locking the cars and safely storing the car keys...
In Irwin v. Alberta Veterinary Medical Association, 2015 ABCA 396, the Alberta Court of Appeal found that the "ABVMA" failed to afford procedural fairness to a veterinarian undergoing an incapacity assessment.
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