Annual Report 2016/2017

  • August 16, 2017

Submitted by Section Chair, Elena Merritt

Summary of Meetings

Number of Meetings Held: 3

October 27, 2016
Guest Speaker: Eugene Raponi, Q.C., Waddell Raponi LLP 
Meeting Title/Topic: The Business Advantages of ADR 
Synopsis: Eugene Raponi has been practicing law since 1982 and during that time has developed a significant practice as a mediator and arbitrator, predominantly in the area of family law and estates. This was an exciting opportunity to hear Mr. Raponi discuss his experience with ADR and the business implications of incorporating ADR into your practice.

February 17, 2017
Guest Speaker: Gordon Sloan - ADR Education
Meeting Title/Topic: Managing Conflict: Understanding How Emotions Impact Conflict Resolution
Synopsis: The ADR - Victoria Section hosted a talk and discussion on the broad topic of psychology of conflict and how emotions can impact conflict resolution with Gordon Sloan of ADR Education. A light lunch was provided.

June 15, 2017
Guest Speakers: Maureen Fitzgerald, PHD, and Kay Melbye, Brown Henderson Melbye 
Meeting Title/Topic: Gender and Mediation 
Synopsis: Maureen Fitzgerald, PhD, gender diversity advisor, former lawyer, and author, and Kay Melbye, a partner with Brown Henderson Melbye and a family law arbitrator, mediator, and child interviewer, lead the discussion on gender and mediation. We heard from these engaging speakers on an important topic in ADR. Half an hour of the discussion was devoted to elements of professional responsibility and ethics.

Comments and Observations of the Chair

This past year has been a successful one for the ADR-Victoria section. Our Executive was a small and mighty group of three members; what we lacked in numbers, we made up for in our commitment to deliver events on insightful topics throughout the year. This past year, we held three well-attended events in Victoria. We had planned for a fourth with an out-of-town speaker in March, but the final scheduling was not meant to be. I am thankful for the events we did host and for seeing many members of the section able to attend, with around 20 to 25 attendees at each event. A quick summary of these events appears below:  

  • Eugene Raponi, Q.C., of Waddell Raponi LLP spoke to us about the business advantages of ADR. The event was held at the Victoria Courthouse Barristers’ Lounge on October 27, 2017.
  • Gordon Sloan of ADR Education spoke to us on the interdisciplinary topic of psychology and conflict, highlighting how emotions play a part in resolving disputes.  The event was held at the Victoria Courthouse Barristers’ Lounge on February 17, 2017.
  • Maureen Fitzgerald, Ph.D., and Kay Melbye of Brown Henderson Melbye presented on the topic of gender and mediation. The event was held in partnership with the Women Lawyers’ Forum of Vancouver Island at the Coast Hotel Victoria on June 15, 2017. Fitzgerald spoke on how gender impacts women in the legal profession today and Melbye discussed the practice points of gender as it is seen from a mediator’s perspective.

Each event brought forward a lively and thoughtful discussion from those attending.  

I am grateful to have served as the Chair for the past two years. As well, I am pleased to see new members to our Executive this upcoming section year, with a new Chair and three new Executive members. Victoria’s dispute resolution community is a vibrant and active one, and I look forward to the ADR-Victoria Section’s continued success! 

Following is a photo from our June 2017 event on Gender & Mediation. Photographed from left to right are: Joel Munro (ADR-Victoria Executive), Elena Merritt (ADR-Victoria Chair), Michael McHugh (ADR-Victoria Executive), Maureen Fitzgerald (Speaker), Kay Melbye (Speaker), and Samantha de Wit (Women Lawyers’ Forum Vancouver Island Forum Co-Chair).