National Section Meeting Report 2015/2016

  • November 02, 2015


National Alternative Dispute Resolution Section


October 2, 2015


Ottawa, ON

Submitted by

BC Branch Representative: Bill Larose (Chair, ADR - Nanaimo Section)


The report form the Chair posed the question: How can the National ADR Section bring more value to the CBA in the context of the litigation world imploding and ADR increasingly permeating every aspect of the law? In conjunction with this query, the concern was raised that currently only 1/3 of the members of ADRIC are practicing lawyers which indicates that as a profession we are losing our position in the market. There was discussion around including non lawyer participation in the National Section in order to increase our relevancy. It was noted that some provincial ADR sections already do this as does the American Bar Association. Since the CBA ADR National regulations do not provide for the inclusion of non lawyer members, it was decided that amendments to the current regulations be discussed at the next executive meeting.

The theme of improving relations with ADRIC by emphasizing the mutual benefits to both organizations was also discussed. To that end it was decided that a first step would be for the National Section to endorse the new ADRIC Arbitration Rules. National Officers, Jim Thistle, Susan Gordon, and Johanna Price confirmed that they would attend the ADRIC Conference in Calgary on October 29th and 30th.

Another topic for discussion was the reaching out to young lawyers, rather then relying on senior lawyers to carry the bulk of ADR practice in their semi retirement years. To that end the group canvased ideas about how law schools could play a role in introducing ADR to their students. One example favored by most participants was the University of Saskatchewan approach where by all students must take a mandatory a one week, pass/fail, ADR program in second year. Flowing from this discussion a Law School Project Committee was struck to formulate recommendations to be made to law school deans at some date in the future.

A Webinar Committee was also formed, noting that the last speaker, Professor John Wade had put on a very successful seminar with 20,000 invitees attending. It was reported that October 31 2015 was the deadline for submissions for the spring webinar, but that this was not "hard deadline".

The Communications Committee reported that the next deadline for E-News articles is October 16, 2015 for the November 16, 2015 publication and that these articles should be current, relevant and under 1000 words. Further it was confirmed that we currently have 343 members on LinkedIn.

A CBA ABA ADR Committee also came into play to prepare for our participation in the 2017 ABA ADR conference.

The Children's Law Committee reported that as a new committee they are still uncertain of their mandate and that they will be in a better position to speak to this at our next meeting.

Both the Family Law Committee and the Collaborative Law Committee were removed from the Agenda because the matters for which they were formed have not proceeded.