Mediators deal in words – not exclusively, but a great deal (and perhaps sometimes too much, but that’s another blog). So it pays for us to think carefully about what words really mean. A couple of years ago, I came across an article entitled “US facilitation yes, mediation no: Omar”. It detailed how Pakistan, through…

Recently I have noticed mediators using a label to describe other people’s practice. It is rarely a compliment. That label is “evaluative”; as in “she takes rather an evaluative approach” or “his background as a lawyer leads him to be evaluative.” More subtly, “We are firmly committed to the facilitative model” (and, by implication, not…

Faithful readers will recall my posts here and here mentioning the failed mediation relating to the international effort to reach an agreement on the distribution of some $9 Billion in assets remaining from the Nortel insolvency. The Ontario Courts are now struggling with the fallout from that failed mediation. This week saw the release of…

Most mediators I know graduated from the Facilitative School of Mediation – and we could spend much ink here debating exactly what that means but to my mind we were essentially taught to own the process and butt out of the outcome. Recently there have been a number of calls for mediators to do more – more what is…

In what I hope readers of this blog will consider a deft segue, I want to shift from the successful judicial mediation that I highlighted last month to one that didn’t proceed quite so smoothly. Deals negotiated in mediation tend to hold or, at least, that’s been the conventional wisdom. The theory is that because…

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…

As you would expect, judges are appointed for their ability to adjudicate, often untested at the time of elevation to the Bench. Once appointed, many jurisdictions around the world then ask their judges to suspend their adjudication skills in favour of mediating controversies coming before the court, often in an effort to reduce backlogs. And it seems…

Like many of us I am constantly torn between simplicity and complexity. The world is complex: that’s a given. But a beautiful morning or a lover’s kiss is simplicity itself, and it’s a fool who overcomplicates it. And so with mediation, the profession/activity/vocation that has grown on me like a skin these last nineteen years….

I like the Christmas season. It marks a very happy time in the year for me and I’m afraid, it makes me a bit silly. In that spirit, I hope readers will forgive that I start off with an Elephant story… I recently had the need to think about the various models of mediation that…

Hong Kong is the global city of designer ‘labels’ as even the most reluctant of shoppers cannot fail to observe. It is also the city of fakes – fakes with labels and fakes without labels – and the place where the ‘No Fake’ label and the ‘No Label’ label thrive! Confused? Well don’t worry, Hong…