Message from the Chair

  • June 01, 2015

As we come to a close of my term as Chair, I would like to express my appreciation for all of the hard work and many hours put in by the Officers, Executive, and Branch chairs.

It was indeed a year defined by a host of continuing and new efforts. Joan Braun has taken on the responsibility of continuing the bridge-building, started by Anne Gottlieb, with ADRIC. Many new initiatives are in the offing and we look forward to announcing those in due course.

Several of our members including Michael Welsh (Penticton) and Audra Bayer (Kelowna) attended the National CBA meeting in Ottawa, Ontario in February 2015 and provided outstanding reviews of invigorating discussions.

The successful reception for the in-person ADR presentation – Effective Dispute Resolution – in Newfoundland in August 2014 caused the CBA to request that this presentation be repeated in a  webinar format in late April 2015. Thank you to Pamela Large Moran of PEI for her determination in continuing to educate practitioners and organize this very successful presentation on not one, but two occasions.

April 2015 was a very busy month for the National ADR Section as Paul Godin moderated the panel discussion entitled: ADR Solutions and Approaches for High Performance Sports Disputes at the American Bar Association Dispute Resolution Conference in Seattle on April 16, 2015. Murray Miskin of Peterborough, Ontario, was on the ABA organizing committee and the CBA ADR Section was a partner in the conference. Dentons and the CBA AB South Section very kindly provided funds to sponsor the speakers. We do appreciate the support from Mike Shafler (a former CBA ADR executive member) at Dentons in Toronto, and Maureen Armitage, our CBA AB executive director, in Calgary, and of course, Johanna Price, our Chair of the CBA AB South ADR Section. None of this would have been possible without the years of liaison efforts by Anne Gottlieb of Toronto and Mike McHugh, Q.C., of Victoria. We look forward to the next ABA DR conference next April 2016 in New York.

As you can readily discern, ongoing education is a key interest and component of this Section, and we continue to explore same with further discussion about the survey of ADR courses in law schools aptly researched by Professor Patricia Paradis of the University of Alberta (Pat is one of our executive members).

We are currently exploring future webinar ideas to present either solely or in conjunction with other Sections/Groups. If you have an idea, please let us know.

Our branches across Canada (approximately 1600 members) continue to innovate in respect to topics and types of gatherings, including seminars, a ski weekend, a three-part speaker series, and career transitioning. Similarly, our Linked-In Membership steadily rises every month.

I wish all of you a wonderful summer and I know that you welcome, with me, your incoming Chair Jim Thistle (Newfoundland) and Vice-Chair, Marina Mussani (Ontario) to their respective roles.

Finally, a sincere “thank you” to Augusta Acquah, our Section Liaison, or her endless patience and good humour in dealing with our many questions and in providing information to us in a very timely and efficient manner.

About the Author

Susan Gordon is Chair of the National ADR Law Section.