Bar Dispute Resolution Group Forum (Counsel Forum)

Minutes of Meeting held on May 31, 2013


Members Present:                                                                          

Joseph Rizzotto (Chair)                                     Gillian H. Kafka via video 
Scott Croteau                                                   Antonietta Alfano via telephone
Catherine Zingg                                               
Catherine Korte
Marni Miller
Alex Voudouris
Katherine Kolnhofer
Philippa Samworth
Joan Takahashi
Audrey Ramsay

FSCO Attendees                                                                                   

Elizabeth Nastasi                                             
John Lobo
Elizabeth Faggiani
Shayna Wiesenfeld
Margaret Orlander
Isobel Fealdman
Sabina Kourktchan
Christina Pearce
  1. Meeting on March 22, 2013.

    Approved as amended.
  2. E-Calendar Update for Arbitration:

    E. Nastasi, Senior Arbitrator, advised Counsel Forum Members that they are no significant changed. The planning/development is going well and is on schedule. Next step will be operational decisions.
  3. Private DR Services update:

    I. Fealdman, Project Director, Auto Insurance Division, provided an update on ADR Chambers. Up to 2000 mediation files are continuing to be shipped out per month to ADR. Last file pick up was May 21, 2013. As of May 21, 2013 the backlog is now down to 6,067 files. The backlog will be eliminated by September 2013.  We don’t anticipate sending any more mediation files to ADR Chambers after September. This clearing of the backlog will be contributing to a spike in arbitrations. 500 arbitrations files are continued to be sent out to ADR Chambers on a monthly basis. 

    I. Fealdman reminded members that if they have any concerns with ADR file handling to contact her either by phone or email with a file number, mediator/arbitrator name and issue.
  4. DRS Status Report – Statistics and Staffing Updates

    Elizabeth Nastasi and John Lobo provided statistical updates for Mediation, Arbitration and Appeals with reference to the reports distributed to members.

    Judicial Review:
    Updates since March 2013 were provided in a memo from Asfaw Seife to Forum members and reviewed. 

    Under Staffing:
    Mediation Unit:

    John L. advised that the following positions would be filled through competition: Manager, Admin & Supt Services, Mediation, Team Leader Mediation and two Designated Mediator positions.

    Arbitration Unit:
    Two arbitrators retired in March, and another's is effective October 1, 2013. Replacements start September 30, 2013 and approval is pending to back fill the remaining vacancy. 
  5. Other Business:

    The Auto Insurance Highlights/ Ontario 2013 Budget:

    Margaret Orlander, Senior Policy Consultant, AIPU provided members with an overview of the Budget items/highlights that relate to the Auto Insurance Industry. Christina P. will send the website link to access background information on the Ministry of Finance Budget.

    Booking process for mediation eCalendar files and locked files: Clarification was provided under what circumstances a mediation eCalendar file is locked, up to what point parties can book or reschedule a mediation, what parties should do when a mediation file is assigned to mediator and is locked and those situations when a mediator may choose a binding date within the 60 day time period.

    John L. informed members that he attended the Canadian Defense Lawyers Conference on April 25, 2013 with Senior Arbitrator Janine Macey. They presented on Mediation and Arbitration Statistics pertaining to intake, closing and open pending as well as initiatives undertaken to deal with the backlog and future strategic direction.
Next Meeting – September 27, 2013