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]
Archive for the ‘Dispute Resolution’ Columns
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]
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
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
In his 2005 Ted Talk “The Paradox of Choice” Barry Schwartz presented an insightful condemnation of the “official dogma” of the modern, western, industrialized world. The “official dogma” states that real freedom comes from maximizing choice. Seems reasonable, even obvious. However, he emphasizes that too much choice has two negative effects on people:
- Too much choice produces paralysis rather than liberation. With many options to choose from people find it difficult to choose at all; and
- Too much choice makes us less satisfied with the result of our choice even if it was a good decision. This is because of
Back in late September, the Court of the Future Network, in partnership with the Institut des hautes études sur la justice and the Cyberjustice Laboratory, organised its annual Court tour which – this year – took place in California, home of Silicon Valley and many technological innovators. For this very reason, the tour took a technological turn and focussed on some of the key technological issues confronting courts, such as:
- The paperless courtroom: digital documents and evidence display
- Cyber security
- Immersive video-conferencing
- Integrated courtroom management
- Social media for courts
- Remote interpreting
- Online Dispute Resolution and Artificial Intelligence
The purpose of . . . [more]
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the psychology of negotiation.
In the negotiation course I teach at University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies a few times a year, I have consistently seen that the students are quite good at understanding their own negotiation styles, strengths and weaknesses. They understand the difference between their positions and interests. They recognize the importance of empathy in building a negotiating relationship and value the active listing and other negotiating skills we practice.
Where these students – and most negotiators, I think – have trouble is understanding the motivations and interests of their . . . [more]