Bar Dispute Resolution Group Forum (Counsel Forum)

Minutes of Meeting held on March 28, 2014     

Members Present:                                                                Guests:         

Joseph Rizzotto (Chair)                                                Josh Grant
David Raposo                                                             Francisco Liu
Jonathan Shrieder                                                      
Stanley Pasternak
Jeffrey Kroeker
Tanya Zigomanis
Paul Belanger
Pamela Quesnel
Michelle Friedman
Laura Emmett via teleconference (Lerners Lawyers)
Andrew Ottaway via teleconference (Gilbertson Davis)
Audrey Ramsay via teleconference (Hughes Amys)

FSCO Attendees                                                    

Asfaw Seife
Janine Macey
John Lobo
Shayna Wiesenfeld
Heather Driver
Christina Pearce
  1. Meeting on January 31, 2014.
    Approved as amended.
  2. E-Calendar for Arbitration Demonstration:
    Senior Arbitrator J. Macey did a presentation on the enhanced DRCD-2 which is now available to law firms, lawyers, licensed paralegals and their firm’s employees, who will have the same functionality as Insurance Company employees.  By registering for DRCD-2, access will also be provided to the new Arbitration E-Calendar.  Applicants with open arbitration files at FSCO will be given access on a read-only basis, if they have provided an email address.

    Once registered for this new system, users from insurance companies and law firms will be able to book arbitration pre-hearings and settlement discussions; report arbitration withdrawals and settlements on consent and see more information about their files.

    The User ID/password combination which is provided by FSCO will secure access to the personal and corporate data of their firm’s arbitration cases. Companies must identify an account manager to administer users internally.

    A tutorial video which is available on FSCO’s website was presented at the meeting.
  3. DRS Status Report – Statistics and Staffing Updates
    Asfaw Seife, Janine Macey and John Lobo provided statistical updates for Mediation, Arbitration and Appeals with reference to the reports distributed to members.

    Judicial Review:
    Updates since January 31, 2014 were provided in a memo from Asfaw Seife to Forum members and reviewed.

    Under Staffing:

    Mediation Unit:
    J. Lobo provided a staffing update and expectation that team leader and two short-term mediator positions, will be filled through competition shortly.

    Arbitration Unit:
    J. Macey informed members that two vacant arbitrators’ positions will be filled shortly.

Other items:

Hearings on Preliminary Issues:

In response to an enquiry of Mr. Grossman brought forward by J. Rizzotto, A. Seife, Director, confirmed that there were no changes to DRS process at this time, following Justice Cunningham’s recommendations/report.

Bill 171:  

Margaret Orlander provided an update on Bill 171. To date, the government has taken action to address about half of the 38 recommendations made by Ontario's Auto Insurance Anti-Fraud Task Force [New Window] aimed at preventing fraud and helping protect consumers, and is committed to addressing remaining recommendations over the coming months. An independent third-party has been contracted to assess the government’s efforts to reduce auto insurance costs and premiums. M. Orlander advised that transcripts of the second reading are available on the website.
Election of New Chair:  Mr. Rizzotto reminded members that they will need to select a new chair after two years.

Next Meeting – May 30, 2014