Recently, as I sat in a mediation room awaiting the arrival of lawyers and clients I did something I have often done for more than 20 years. I performed an ancient divination ritual. I cast the I Ching. The I Ching is an ancient Chinese oracle dating back about 3,000 years. It has provided insight…

Michael Leathes in his recent  thought provoking post argues for the need for more “field-based” mediation research by which he means actual observations of the live action by skilled researchers.  He poses the questions: “Has the mediation world spent too long developing lab-based facts to suit its theories? Might it start to hone new theories…

While The Kluwer Mediation Blog is aimed at an international audience and often deals with issues of transcendent import to those interested in the mediation process (like Bill Marsh’s recent inspiring post on Leadership) I can’t help but comment on recent Ontario decision that will be of interest to the mediation community here, and perhaps…

Let me climb off my usual soap box this month and focus on more mundane matters primarily of interest to mediators (and lawyers) in my jurisdiction. A recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court illuminates the approach a judge will take when a party calls into question the enforceability of their settlement agreement. Generally, the…

You’re mediating an insurance matter. The angry and cynical male plaintiff wails, “They’re insulting me with this offer! But, what else should I expect from a f*****g insurance company!?” The “seen it all before” plaintiff’s lawyer wearily closes her laptop. “That’s it!”, she says. “We’re outta here unless you go back and get us a…

On Thursday, August 30, 2018 the Canadian Federal Court of Appeal did the unthinkable. Its Judgement in Tsleil-Waututh Nation v. Canada (Attorney General), 2018 FCA 153 (CanLII) quashed approval of the $9.3-billion (CAN) Trans Mountain oil pipeline. The Canadian government announced last spring that it would purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline from Kinder Morgan Ltd….

It’s August and I’m cooking up some Stone Soup. What I’m actually doing is finalizing the syllabus, lesson plans, lecture notes, readings, guest speaker list and slide decks.  The materials are for my Mediation Theory and Practice seminar at the University of Ottawa Law School starting in September. (Thank goodness for the last minute, otherwise…

  The recently released decision in L-Jalco Holdings Inc. v. Lawrynowicz & Associates, 2018 ONSC 4002 (CanLII) will be of great interest to mediators, lawyers and clients alike. The case offers a rare glimpse inside the “sausage factory” that is commercial mediation and highlights mediator persistence and creativity in reaching a settlement of a complex…

The recent cost decision of Justice Graeme Mew in Canfield v. Brockville Ontario Speedway, 2018 ONSC 3288 (CanLII) provides an instructive review of the principles the Court will consider when weighing the cost consequences to an unsuccessful party of unreasonably refusing to participate in a mediation. The case involved whether an automobile race track was…