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Archive for the ‘Dispute Resolution’ Columns

Giving Back and Gratitude

Everyone “gives back” in different ways. One of the ways I have tried to give back over the years is to serve on various Boards of Directors. Yesterday was my last day as a member of the Board of the BC Courthouse Library Society (CLBC). I leave with immense gratitude to CLBC, its board members and staff, realizing that whatever I was able to contribute to CLBC was eclipsed by the benefits that I gained in learning, expertise and experience.

One of the reasons I agreed to join the CLBC board was a chance to work with, and learn from, . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

The “Success” of Online Dispute Resolution in Europe

Readers expecting to glance at part 3 of our multi part Towards Cyberjustice retrospective will have to wait a few extra weeks since we felt it more timely to address recent reports coming out of the European Union following the two-year anniversary of the EU’s online dispute resolution (ODR) platform.

As a reminder, the platform was launched in 2016 as per Regulation (EU) no 524/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013 on online dispute resolution for consumer disputes and amending Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 and Directive 2009/22/EC (Regulation on consumer ODR). As . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Arbitrator Anxiety: When an Award Is Challenged in Court

As an arbitrator, it is a nerve-wracking and somewhat fearful experience to have an award challenged in court. I’m glad to say it isn’t a common experience for me (knock on wood), but it happened recently.

I was relieved to read the judgement – skipping straight to the last page to see whether I had got things right or not. (Do judges do that, I wonder.) The court said I had – big sigh of relief – but it prompted me to think about what what courts expect from us as arbitrators. It was a reminder of some essential things . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Why Everyone Should Take Mediation Training

Over the years I have been asked many times, by lawyers, law students and others, whether they should take mediation training. Most were interested in mediation, many participated as counsel at mediation but few planned to be full-time mediators. My standard answer has been that mediation training was valuable to everyone as it provides key life skills that are useful in all parts of our lives, not just in our legal career. Mediation training teaches us about the dynamics of human behaviour and provides a fundamental suite of skills for dealing with inevitable conflict in healthy ways that prevent conflict . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Towards Cyberjustice Retrospective Part 2: a Tale of Cyberjustice

As announced in our October 17th column, this is the second of a series of blogs highlighting the various papers, studies, and pilot projects conducted by the Cyberjustice Laboratory under the auspices of the “Towards Cyberjustice” Project. Funded by a Major Collaborative Research Grant from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council, this seven-year long project has finally drawn to a close and will be the subject of a detailed report to be released later this year. In anticipation of this upcoming report, its first chapter – entitled “A Tale of Cyberjustice” – will be . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Third Party Arbitration Funding (Part 2)

In my previous column, I looked at the growth of third party litigation (and arbitration) funding in Canada and discussed whether an arbitration Tribunal has any jurisdiction to control the involvement of funders. If the Tribunal does have jurisdiction, what issues should it be concerned about?

Here are just a few thoughts on some of the issues raised by third party funding in commercial arbitration and how to deal with them.

  • Whether the third party funding agreement must be disclosed to the tribunal and/or the opposing party.
  • Whether such disclosure should exclude privileged or confidential information.
  • Whether other information
. . . [more]
Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Youth Voice Initiative – Systemic Human Centred Design at Work

The BC Family Justice Innovation Lab is focusing on improving the well-being of BC families and children experiencing separation and divorce. One of its ‘home-grown’ initiatives is called “Youth Voices” as it focuses on the experience and well-being of children whose parents experienced separation or divorce. One of the Lab’s foundational principles is that change must start with those who are the beneficiaries (or users) of the system we are trying to change. We reached out for experiences and lessons from other sectors (including business, healthcare and education) and decided on human-centred design (HCD).

The Lab developed and is testing . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Towards Cyberjustice Retrospective Part 1: Who Controls Court Data?

In our October 17th column, we announced that we would start posting a series of blogs highlighting different papers, studies, and pilot projects conducted under the auspices of the “Towards Cyberjustice” project. As a reminder, this project, which was financed by a Major Collaborative Research Grant from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council, spanned over the last seven years and has made significant contributions in the domain of what many call eJustice (what we refer to as cyberjustice). As stated on the Cyberjustice Laboratory’s Website, the purpose of the project was (although we’re . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Third Party Arbitration Funding

Third party litigation funding is growing in Canada and starting to appear in commercial arbitration as well. This raises some interesting questions about an arbitration tribunal’s authority to allow (or refuse to allow) third party funding and, if it is permitted, the degree to which the tribunal should control the funder’s involvement in the arbitration.

To date, in Canada, most court decisions regarding third party funding have involved class actions. This is partly because the cost of large class actions has grown beyond the capacity of plaintiffs’ counsel to self-fund them and partly because the courts have an inherent jurisdiction . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Seeing (And Feeling) the Family Justice System Through the Eyes of the Therapy Dog

On behalf of the BC Family Justice Innovation Lab, I’m lucky enough to be part of a team that is working with families and family-serving agencies and services in Kamloops BC to improve the family justice system. We call the initiative “Pathfinder” and it is a collective of people, organizations and government supported by Access to Justice BC. We are using a human-centred service design approach that tries to see the system from the perspective of the families who are transitioning through separation and divorce. I hope to share more about this fascinating initiative in a future post. . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Ontario’s First Online Tribunal

In our last column, we announced that, over the coming months, we would share the results of the research conducted by members of the Towards Cyberjustice project. Although this is still planned for future entries, we chose to postpone these posts to take the time to underline an important moment in the field of online dispute resolution (ODR): the launch of Ontario’s first online tribunal, the Condominium Authority Tribunal (or CAT).

According to the 2016 Census, “[t]rends in building permits [in Ontario] indicate that the construction pace of apartments, and especially condominium units, has accelerated since the early . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Med-Arb: Efficiency vs. Justice?

I had the pleasure recently of co-chairing a one-day seminar on mediation-arbitration (med-arb), sponsored by the ADR Institute of Ontario, the Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario and Osgoode Professional Development.

The program explored the question Med-Arb: Efficiency or Justice Compromised?

We were fortunate to have two thought-provoking keynote speakers and many very experienced panelists.

Warren Winkler, former Chief Justice of Ontario, recalled a number of efforts over the years to incorporate both mediation and med-arb into the justice system and talked about the resistance some lawyers and judges have shown to the idea of combined med-arb.

Stephen . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution