After a slight delay owing – we think – to the pandemic, the National Family Law Arbitration Course will run later this year, in October and November, and be preceded by two single-day programs for lawyers and mental health professionals interested in parenting coordination. Before then, an advanced program on managing mediation-arbitration processes in family law disputes will run in May. There are few training opportunities in Canada aimed specifically at the out-of-court resolution of family law disputes, and if this is where you’d like to take your practice, I don’t know that better options are available.
Special program: Issues in Mediation-Arbitration
“Issues in mediation-arbitration” is a 7-hour program offered on Friday 13 May 2022 and covering the unique practical and ethical issues involved in managing med-arb processes for family law disputes. Major topics include:
- Drafting and enforcing dispute resolution clauses in family law agreements
- Drafting med-arb agreements
- Addressing family violence and power imbalances in med-arb processes
- Models for med-arb processes
- Managing the transition between mediation and arbitration
Two panel discussions will debate ethical considerations in med-arb processes (Gary Joseph and Lorne Wolfson) and discuss the essential dos and don’ts of managing med-arb processes in family law disputes (Wayne Barkauskas QC , Cheryl Goldhart, Doug Moe QC, Lawrence Pinksy and Brahm Siegel). Other faculty members include Dr Rachel Birnbaum, Herschel Fogelman, Aaron Franks, Arlene Henry QC, Daniel Melamed, Krysta Ostwald QC and myself.
The cost of the special program is $350, and a paltry $300 for members of the ADR Institute of Canada (ADRIC) and its provincial affiliates, Family Mediation Canada (FMC), the Family Arbitration and Mediation Law Institute (FAMLI), the MediateBC rosters, the Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario (FDRIO), the Ontario Association for Family Mediation (OAFM) and the BC Parenting Coordinators Roster Society (BCPCRS).
Visit https://nflac.ca/special-programs/ for more information and to download the registration form.
National Family Law Arbitration Course: 2022 edition
The National Family Law Arbitration Course is a 40-hour interactive course offering a comprehensive introduction to the arbitration of family law disputes in Canada, and includes optional six-hour pre-course programs for lawyers and mental health professionals interested in working as parenting coordinators. It provides a complete introduction to the arbitration of family law disputes and the unique skills, processes and procedures these cases require. The course provides the opportunity to learn from senior family law lawyers with established arbitration practices in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Ontario in an interactive remote learning environment.
The pre-course program on the basics of psychology for family law lawyers runs on Friday 7 October 2022 and will be taught by Dr Rachel Birnbaum, Alyson Jones RCC and Dr Lorri Yasenik. The pre-course program on the basics of family law for mental health professionals runs on Saturday 8 October 2022 and will be taught by Lawrence Pinsky, Lorne Wolfson and myself. The cost of each of the pre-course programs is $350.
The course proper runs over three Friday / Saturday pairs and starts on Friday 21 October 2022. The course covers:
- Arbitration contrasted to mediation and litigation
- Creatively designing arbitration processes
- Drafting arbitration agreements
- Arbitrating in the presence of family violence
- Evidence and experts in arbitration processes
- Interim applications and arbitration hearings
- Drafting awards
- Managing an arbitration practice.
The faculty are Wayne Barkauskas QC, Dr Rachel Birnbaum, Dr Barbara Fidler, Herschel Fogelman, Aaron Franks, Cheryl Goldhart, Arlene Henry QC, Alf Mamo, Danny Melamed, Krysta Ostwald QC, Lawrence Pinsky, Eugene Raponi QC, Brahm Siegel, Lorne Wolfson and myself. The cost of the special program is $1950, or $1800 for members of the ADR Institute of Canada (ADRIC) and its provincial affiliates, Family Mediation Canada (FMC), the Family Arbitration and Mediation Law Institute (FAMLI), the MediateBC rosters, the Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario (FDRIO), the Ontario Association for Family Mediation (OAFM) and the BC Parenting Coordinators Roster Society (BCPCRS).
The National Family Law Arbitration Course was first offered to 50 participants in 2021, with rave reviews. Participants in the 2021 course rated the course and its impact on their knowledge of the subject matter very highly:
- 78% of participants who completed our feedback survey described the materials as very relevant and 22% described them as relevant,
- 84% strongly agreed that the course increased their knowledge of the subject matter and 16% agreed that it increased their knowledge, and
- 96% said they would strongly encourage or encourage others to take the course.
Visit https://nflac.ca/the-course/ for more information and to download the registration form.
Law society accreditation
The special program, the course and the pre-course programs are accredited approved for continuing professional development credits by the Law Society of British Columbia, the Law Society of Ontario and the Law Society of Saskatchewan. Law society pre-approval or accreditation is not required for members of the law societies of Alberta, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Accreditation from the Law Society of New Brunswick is in progress.
The course is also approved by the Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario as satisfying the educational requirements for their FDRIO FDRP-Arb certification.
Visit https://nflac.ca for accreditation details.
The organizers of the National Family Law Arbitration Course are me, John-Paul Boyd QC, of John-Paul Boyd Arbitration Chambers in Alberta and British Columbia, Lawrence Pinsky of Taylor McCaffrey LLP in Manitoba, and Lorne Wolfson of Torkin Manes LLP in Ontario.