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…

John Sturrock’s May 1st  thought-provoking blog post on mediator “fairness” styled itself a “provocation” and invited comment and response. Here’s mine. John, thank you for your thought-provoking blog post. My perspective is that of a Canadian commercial mediator with nearly 30 years experience and about 4,000 cases mediated, virtually all involving represented individual claimants and represented…

Troubling trends observed as an Ontario commercial mediator compel me to once again take up my chiclet-keyed sabre. That the following are indeed trends in commercial mediation in Ontario is unsupported by any reliable data – because no one keeps track. No one records. It’s all anecdotal. Still, I’m now closing in on 30 years…

Hockey is a deeply ingrained part of the Canadian identity so it’s not surprising that the Country has been abuzz this week around the question: “Has a high profile 10-year old case been settled through mediation or not?” The case, Moore v. Bertuzzi et al,  arose from events that occurred during a National Hockey League…