A recently reported decision of the Ontario Superior Court highlights the efficacy of the mediation process in resolving complex disputes particularly in circumstances where uncertainty of outcome reigns supreme.  In Johnston v. The Shelia Morrison Schools, 2013 ONSC 1528 Justice Perell was asked to approve a settlement in an Action which had been certified under…

Mediator is New Premier in Ontario Following my rant last month about the need for more mediators in public policy-making, the Liberal Party of Ontario has chosen a former mediator, Kathleen Wynne, as their new leader and, consequently, as the first woman Premier of Ontario. I had no idea this Blog had so much influence….

A potpourri of mediation-related reflections as the holiday break fades from memory. Hockey Mediation – With last Saturday’s puck drops in 13 cities the National Hockey League has commenced its lockout-shortened season. Full arenas around the league confirm the strength of the game’s drawing power if not the forgive-and-forget sentiments of long-suffering fans. Readers of this…

Two stories currently making headlines in Canada provide the occasion to harken back to previous posts on this blog. Mediation Backlog – Ontario No-Fault Auto Insurance Disputes  In March of this year I blogged about the consequences of under-resourcing mandatory mediation programs. The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) had (and still has) a huge…

I recently had three mediations in a row that failed to reach settlement. After a couple of days contemplating running away with the circus and other lateral career moves, I started focussing on what I might have done differently and what might yet be done to advance resolution. Counsel and parties look for perseverance in…

Recently, during a lull in the action in a tort mediation, I was drawn aside by an insurance representative I see frequently. He had concerns about my “style” as a mediator. “Every mediation it’s the same thing”, he said. “It’s almost like everyone knows where the case is going to settle in advance so why…

I’ve been working in this field for more than 20 years and one thing that I’ve observed with genuine curiosity over that time is the sniping from various quarters that what I (and others with practices similar to mine) do each day falls short of “The Promise of Mediation”. As readers of this Blog will…

“Thank God for the last minute; otherwise nothing would ever happen.” This old saying rolls through my mind as I sit to type this on my iPad in the departures lounge at Toronto’s Billy Bishop Airport located on the island just opposite the heart of this great city. My blog post is due at midnight…

Often when I’m mediating a difficult case; the parties, running hot, miles apart and showing no sign of movement, an inner voice whispers softly to me, “it’s just not ripe for settlement.” It’s an attractive concept because it lets me off the hook. Nothing to be done here until the case ripens. I might as…