In addition to practicing civil litigation in Calgary for more than 20 years, I have been a mediator for the past 15.
In 2006 I earned an LL.M. in Dispute Resolution from the University of Technology in Sydney Australia. My course of study there included advanced mediation, commercial dispute resolution, and Managing the Resolution of Public Arena Disputes.
I have extensive experience as a mediator having been selected to mediate hundreds of disputes, including claims involving millions of dollars. I am on the Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board's roster of mediators, and have served as a mediator in the Alberta Justice Provincial Court Civil Claims Mediation and Better Business Bureau Mediation Programs.
The dispute I have mediated include those relating to:
I authored an article entitled Mandatory Mediation under the New Alberta Rules of Court - the First Year which appeared in Law Matters (Canadian Bar Association - Alberta) in 2011. This year I became a full member (MCIArb) of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in London, an internationally recognized dispute resolution organization. I am listed in Best Lawyers International for Alternative Dispute Resolution (arbitration and mediation).
Sabri Shawa, Q.C. one of JSS Barristers' senior partners is experienced in alternative dispute resolution processes and brings a wealth of litigation experience to the dispute resolution process. He is adept at a variety of mediation style ranging from passive facilitation to much more hands on evaluative mediation. For more details of his experience and scope of litigation practice, see his full biography under the people section of our website. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss your requirements for DRP under the New Rules of Court and any other mediation needs you might have.
The Rules of Court require parties in all matters before the Court of Queen's Bench to engage in at least one Dispute Resolution Process ("DRP"), unless this requirement is waived by the Court in limited circumstances (New Rules 4.2 and 4.16(2)).
In every existing proceeding as of November 1, 2010, a trial date cannot be set unless the parties have participated in a DRP, or the Court has waived that requirement (New Rule 8.4(3)).
Judicial Dispute Resolution is one form of DRP that the parties may engage in; however, it is not the only one.
With the increased volume of matters which now are referred to DRP, the pressure on the Courts is extreme.
An impartial third person in the private sector can act as mediator. This is where JSS Barristers can help. JSS Barristers partner, Sabri Shawa, Q.C. is available to act as an impartial third person mediator under.
There are considerable advantages to engaging in DRP. In many cases, effective mediation will result in the resolution of the action, and avoid the expense of further proceedings. Mediation also operates as an opportunity for both sides to evaluate their own positions, and those of their opponents. Use of a private mediator will avoid the time-cost of waiting for the availability of an appropriate JDR judge. Unlike JDR, where the Courts prefer that discoveries are completed and the matter is ready for trial, the cost of reaching the "trial ready" stage of litigation can be limited by engaging DRP much earlier in the litigation process. Since the new Rules do not stipulate when the DRP process need take place, it can take place very early in the litigation.
The effort required to prepare for a mediation is not insignificant. But, irrespective of the outcome that effort is never wasted. Preparation for mediation doubles as preparation for other steps such as discovery and trial.