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…

Two stories in the Canadian media caught my eye this past month. New Rules for Bank Mediators – The Federal Minister of Finance has indicated that the Canadian federal government will not require banks to mediate their disputes with customers through mediation services offered by the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI). OSBI is…

Some disputes are more suitable for mediation than others. Counsel and their clients contemplating whether or not to mediate a particular dispute can sometimes benefit from a more structured approach to analyzing that question. It was with this in mind that many years ago my then partner and I designed the Mediation Suitability Checklist. The…

If you’re in a jurisdiction with some sort of mandatory mediation program its worth reading the reasons of Mr. Justice Sloan of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in  Cornie v Security National and three companion Actions. Many lessons can be drawn from this decision depending on your perspective, but to me one clear lesson…

The Kluwer Mediation Blog provides an excellent opportunity for all of us to learn more about the practice of mediation around the world. I’ve had the privilege of training mediators in a number of places outside Canada including Russia, Albania, Uganda and  Lesotho and know that practice experiences vary widely from place to place. In…