Bar Dispute Resolution Group Forum (Counsel Forum)

Minutes Of Meeting Held On May 29, 2015     

Members Present:                                                                          

Philippa Samworth (Chair)
Brenda Cuneo
Geoff Keating
Sandra Train
Jon Schrieder
Michelle Friedman
Joseph Rizzotto
Joan Takahashi
Eric Grossman
Catherine Zingg
Alex Voudouris
Audrey Ramsay
Gillian Kafka, Lerners via teleconference
Laura Emmett, Lerners via teleconference
Jennifer Mitchell, Brown Beattie O’Donovan via teleconference
Robin Anderson, Boivin Law Office via teleconference

FSCO Attendees                                                               

Asfaw Seife
John Lobo
Janine Macey
Shayna Wiesenfeld
Tony Toy
Christina Pearce
  1. Meeting on March 27, 2015
    Approved as amended.
  2. DRS Portal
    Senior Arbitrator Macey in response to a previous suggestion, advised that with over 700 Account Managers, it was not feasible to effectively have them all in for an in-house update session. The option of sending out an eblast, “Quick Tips” or a “What New”, to share information and updates was discussed.

    Senior Arbitrator Macey, suggested that Account Managers need to review, if necessary, the Terms and Conditions of Use of the DRS Portal available on the website.
    Issues discussed were:
  • changing an email address on one file and how it impacts all other open files;
  • the firm's responsibility on changing the account manager;
  • only the account manager should be contacting FSCO staff directly on all matters related to the Case Management Portal (CMP);
  • the firms account manager should be known to their staff;
  • account manager should not share their password with their staff; each user should have their own account and password;
  • recipients of emails from eCalendar should not reply to these auto generated emails.
  1. 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 March 26, 2015 were provided in a memo from Asfaw Seife to Forum members and reviewed.


    Mediation Unit:
    John Lobo advised that recruitment is underway for 1 mediation administrative assistant and 1 mediation assistant, fixed term position.

    Arbitration Unit:
    Janine Macey advised that recruitment are underway for 2 arbitrators’ position on short term basis.

Other items:

  • Bill 15 (formerly Bill 171) which has not yet been proclaimed, will be added as a going forward standing agenda item. Members will be kept informed as new information becomes available and were reminded to check the FSCO website for updates.
  • Philippa Samworth, Chair at the DRS Counsel Forum, briefed members on the ADR Chambers/DRS Counsel Forum Meeting that took place on May 1, 2015. While attendance was low the meeting was extremely helpful. Topics discussed included the complaint process, adjournment process; preliminary hearings and staffing.
  • Catherine Boivin an OTLA member from Timmins and her law student Robin Anderson raised the concern about the amount of time FSCO needs to spend on abandoned arbitration application. Ms. Anderson presented the issue at the meeting via teleconference asserting that backlog could be eliminated if rule changes were made to require personal attendance of applicant at pre-hearings; statistics were provided.  Proposal will be reviewed by DRS Management.

Next Meeting – September 25, 2015.