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The National Family Law Arbitration Course is a 40-hour interactive course offering a comprehensive introduction to the arbitration of family law disputes in Canada, and includes optional six-hour pre-course programs for lawyers and mental health professionals interested in working as parenting coordinators.

The next National Family Law Arbitration Course will begin on Friday 21 October 2022. Pre-course programs begin on Friday 7 October 2022. Registration is now open.

Our new special program, Issues in Mediation-Arbitration, runs on Friday 13 May 2022. This single-day advanced program will cover the unique ethical practical issues involved in managing med-arb processes

The 2022 National Family Law Arbitration Course has been moved to run in October and November. Registration is open! Bookmark this page for updates and faculty announcements.

Courses in arbitration practice are available from organizations across Canada. While these courses are of a uniformly high quality, their primary focus is on the arbitration of employment, construction and other corporate and commercial disputes. Family law disputes, however, have important differences that set them apart and demand a special approach to their management and resolution. Family law cases cannot be handled with the same off-the-shelf approach that might be used to resolve other civil cases.

The National Family Law Arbitration Course provides a complete introduction to the arbitration of family law disputes and the unique skills, processes and procedures these cases require. This course provides the opportunity to learn from senior family law lawyers with established arbitration practices in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Ontario in an interactive remote learning environment. Superior court judges will address the role of the court in arbitration processes, and experienced mental health professionals will explore the impacts and implications of domestic violence. Download the syllabus for the 2022 course and the registration form.

This course includes two optional pre-course programs for those interested in practicing as parenting coordinators, one directed to lawyers and taught by mental health professionals working in the area of family breakdown, and another directed to mental health professionals and taught by seasoned family law lawyers.

The course is provided over selected Fridays and Saturdays. The 2022 course begins on Friday 21 October 2022. The pre-course programs run on Friday 7 October 2022 (the basics of psychology for family law lawyers) and Saturday 8 October 2022 (the basics of family law for mental health professionals). All instructional days begin at 10:30am and end at 5:30pm eastern.

Learn more about the course.

New program! Issues in mediation-arbitration

A full-day advanced program, Issues in Mediation-Arbitration, will be offered on Friday 13 May 2022. Topics to be discussed include:

  • Drafting and enforcing participation clauses in separation agreements
  • Drafting participation agreements
  • Options for mediation-arbitration processes
  • Managing family violence concerns in mediation-arbitration processes
  • Transitioning between mediation and arbitration
  • Ethical considerations in mediation-arbitration

Download the syllabus and the registration form.

Organizers and steering committee

The organizers of the National Family Law Arbitration Course are John-Paul Boyd QC of John-Paul Boyd Arbitration Chambers in Alberta and British Columbia, Lawrence Pinsky of Taylor McCaffrey LLP in Manitoba, and Lorne Wolfson of Torkin Manes in Ontario.

The members of the steering committee for inaugural course were Wayne Barkauskas QC, Professor Rachel Birnbaum, Tom Dart, Herschel Fogelman, Aaron Franks, Cheryl Goldhart, Stephen Grant, Arlene Henry QC, Alf Mamo, Danny Melamed, Doug Moe QC, Krysta Ostwald QC, Eugene Raponi QC, Brahm Siegel, and Bryan Smith.

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  1. I am a professional accountant with a very strong interest and significant experience with family law arbitration. Am I able to access this training? Absent that, am I able to provide feedback to this training?

    1. There is! You can email your completed registration form to Nona at the email address provided on the form. Unfortunately, we can only accept payment by cheque and that’ll need to be mailed in.

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