August 21, 2012
To: Law firms/paralegal firms
I am writing to provide you with a further update to my letter of May 23, 2012. I am pleased to let you know that the procurement process for a private dispute resolution service provider has now concluded. ADR Chambers is the successful vendor for this project. ADR Chambers will conduct mediations and arbitrations on behalf of FSCO.
FSCO anticipates that it will begin assigning files to ADR Chambers as of September 19, 2012. As noted in my May 23rd letter, we anticipate that a maximum of approximately 2,000 mediation files per month will be assigned to ADR Chambers, over and above the files that will continue to be handled by FSCO’s mediators.
In addition, we expect to assign a maximum of 500 arbitration files per month to the successful vendors. Again, this is over and above the files currently handled by FSCO’s arbitrators. Arbitration files will begin to be assigned to ADR Chambers in October 2012, and we anticipate that although volumes of arbitration files may begin slowly, they will increase as mediation files move through the system.
FSCO will continue to send out initial letters on the files FSCO staff are handling. The mediation files handled by FSCO’s mediators will be scheduled using the eCalendar, as usual.
ADR Chambers will send out initial letters on files which it is handling, and will also contact your staff directly to schedule the mediations and arbitrations being conducted on FSCO’s behalf.
I am again requesting that you ensure adequate staff resources to handle the accelerated number of mediations and arbitrations that will be taking place. I am also requesting that you review all files where you have filed an Application for Mediation but the file has not yet been assigned to a mediator. Please be sure to promptly complete and return either the Consent to Extend form or Consent to Fail form, on each file, as appropriate.
In addition, kindly notify FSCO of any files mediation and/or arbitration files which may have been resolved and are no longer in dispute and also use this review as an opportunity to determine if any of your files can be resolved without the benefit of mediation.
You should notify FSCO as soon as possible if you have filed for mediation on any related files which should be mediated together. Once the files have been assigned to mediators, it may not be feasible for them to be mediated at the same time.
It is FSCO’s intention to clear the backlog as soon as possible. This cannot happen without your co-operation. Should you have any questions on this initiative, please contact Isobel Fealdman, Director, Strategic and Operational Planning Branch at 416-590-8457 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updates on FSCO’s measures and initiatives to address the backlog are published in our Auto Insurance e-Newsletter as well as in the minutes for the Dispute Resolution Services Companies and Counsel Forums, which can be found on the Mediation Backlog Initiatives page of our website at www.fsco.gov.on.ca.
Automobile Insurance Division
Financial Services Commission of Ontario
cc: ADR Coordinator