Bar Dispute Resolution Group Forum (Counsel Forum)

​Minutes of Meeting held on November 28, 2014

Members Present:                                                                          

Philippa Samworth (Chair)
Michelle Friedman
Joseph Rizzotto
Eric Grossman
Alex Voudouris
Audrey Ramsay
Stanley Pasternak
Brenda Cuneo via teleconference

FSCO Attendees                                                               

Asfaw Seife
Shayna Wiesenfeld
Jessica Kelly
John Lobo
Ann Walker
J.R. Richards
Tony Toy
Christina Pearce
  1. Meeting on October 3, 2014.
    Approved as amended.
  2. DRS Status Report – Statistics and Staffing Updates
    Asfaw Seife, J.R. Richards and John Lobo provided statistical updates for Mediation, Arbitration and Appeals with reference to the reports distributed to members.

    Judicial Review:
    Updates since October 3, 2014 were provided in a memo from Asfaw Seife to Forum members and reviewed.


    Mediation Unit:
    J. Lobo introduced Ann Walker, new Team Leader in Mediation. He also advised that there is a current posting for 3 fixed contract mediators to be filled through the competition.

    Arbitration Unit:
    J.R. Richards provided a staffing update that three new arbitrators- (Isabel Stramwasser, Sudabeh Mashkuri and Dana Hirsh) have started effective November 17, 2014.

Other items:

  • Members noted that Bill 15 (formerly Bill 171), has received Royal Assent but has not been proclaimed yet (different parts of the Bill may be proclaimed at different times). Questions were asked on the status, process, and timing of the transition of DRS to the License Appeal Tribunal. Members were advised that the answers are unknown at this time.
  • The members agreed that FSCO should send  an email to all members on the mailing list, asking them to confirm if they would be attending future Counsel Forum meetings and that if they did not respond, they would be removed from the list.
  • Philippa Samworth advised that she spoke to Allan Stitt of ADR Chambers regarding the formation of Counsel Forum with ADR Chambers, similar to FSCO’s. She advised that they are agreeable to host the Forum. An initial set up meeting is scheduled for January 13, 2015. Members are to email Philippa, if they wish to attend the meeting. Ms. Samworth also asked if FSCO want to have a representative at meetings with ADRC. Mr. Seife undertook to consider the request and advise her of FSCO's decision.
  • Next Counsel Forum Meetings at FSCO are scheduled on January 23, 2015; March 27, 2015; May 29, 2015; September 25, 2015 and November 27, 2015.
  • A "discussion corner" without FSCO Staff proceeded with the members.

Next Meeting – January 23, 2015.