Med-Arb and bias

Non-lawyers (and some lawyers) are skeptical that an adjudicator can both mediate and adjudicate the same dispute while remaining neutral. I have canvassed some of the issues before in a column at A recent Federal Court decision that addressed allegations of bias by an adjudicator hearing a case under the unjust dismissal provisions of the Canada Labour Code provides more comfort [Read More]

Anger in mediation: advice from Seneca

Seneca was a Roman philosopher and also a tutor and later advisor to Nero. He saw a lot of anger, in very close quarters. Seneca wrote an essay on anger that remains relevant to the angry times we continue to live in. A recent translation makes the text very accessible for the modern reader. His argument is [Read More]

Seeing versus observing: Sherlock Holmes on mediation

It is hard to conceive of Sherlock Holmes as a mediator, given his seeming lack of emotional intelligence. However, in the story A Scandal in Bohemia, he makes an important observation about the difference between seeing and observing that is relevant for mediation. Dr. Watson says, “When I hear you give your reasons, the thing always [Read More]

Reasons: what you can’t leave out

In a recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision, the court reversed a summary hearing decision of a Superior Court judge because of its lack of reasons: Barbieri v. Mastronardi, 2014 ONCA 416. The court held that meaningful appellate review was impossible because the judge failed to provide any insight into how his legal conclusion was reached and [Read More]

Turning to History for Inspiration on Access to Justice

A good dose of history is often a good antidote for current ills. In a recent article in the Advocates’ Journal, David E. Gruber looks at the history of civil procedure to shed some light on access to justice issues. We didn’t always have all the bells and whistles we have today. (The Journal is only available to [Read More]

Surreptitious recordings and oral hearings: the FCA weighs in

The Federal Court of Appeal recently judicially reviewed a decision and reconsideration by the Canada Industrial Relations Board on a duty of fair representation complaint (DFR). The Board dismissed the complaint. The FCA allowed the complainant’s judicial review application.The FCA decision is notable for how it addressed surreptitious recordings and the right to an oral hearing. The facts The union member [Read More]

Remedies in DFR Complaints: Legal Costs

A recent decision of the Canada Industrial Relations Board found that the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) breached its duty of fair representation (DFR) when it failed to take termination grievances to arbitration. The decision is notable for its analysis of the appropriate decision-making process for unions when deciding whether or not to pursue [Read More]

How do we reform the justice system?

There’s a lot of talk about the need for reforms to the administration of justice to ensure better access to justice. And there’s no shortage of ideas for improvements. What is lacking is a meaningful dialogue on how we drive change and achieve progress. Ideas without an implementation strategy usually just remain ideas. Kari Boyle, [Read More]

The costs of incivility

Civility, or the lack of civility, is a persistent theme in the practice of law. The most recent issue of the CBA National magazine has returned to this theme. The issue of disrespect and its costs has been examined in the medical context, and there may be lessons for the legal profession. While most of the time [Read More]

Modernizing criteria for intervention at the Federal Court

In a recent decision, Justice Stratas of the Federal Court of Appeal has tweaked the criteria for granting intervenor status first set out by the Court in Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc. v. Canada (Attorney General), [1990] 1 F.C. 74 (T.D.), aff’d, [1990] 1 F.C. 90 (C.A.). He has also added new criteria, in light of recent [Read More]

Page 3 of 1112345...10...Last »