Legal humour

Surveying Settlement – Mapping Mediation Strategies for Real Estate Disputes

Surveying Settlement — Mapping Mediation Strategies for Real Estate Disputes (January, 2018)

(An edited version of this article originally appeared in The Lawyer’s Daily.)

This is the second of a three-part series in which I share practical mediation advice, in different areas, based on my work as a mediator and mediation lawyer (or, Settlement Counsel). Previously, I discussed  wrongful dismissal cases. In this segment, I survey strategies for maximizing settlement opportunities through mediating neighbour disputes, claims arising out of purchase and sale agreements, and mortgage enforcement.

Read more →

The Stoic Lawyer: Just What the Emperor Ordered

This article originally appeared, in an abbreviated form, on the Canadian Lawyer Magazine website.


The legal profession can meet modern challenges by embracing the ancient philosophy of Stoicism.





Themselves and Others




The author, a lawyer, argues that Stoicism benefits his profession. He presents his argument in a form his colleagues might recognize: A judgment written by an experienced person of authority. Suspend your own judgment about the fact that I, Marcus Aurelius, the last of Rome’s “five good emperors” – and the world’s most famous Stoic [1] — have been dead for almost 2,000 years: As our people like to say: “De minimis non curat lex”.[2]

Read more →

“Staying at NO!”: When Should You Refuse to Settle? When Should You Refuse to Mediate?

“Fortitude is the capacity to say no when the world wants to hear yes.”-Erich Fromm

“I do not believe that settlement as a generic practice is preferable to judgment or should be institutionalized on a wholesale and indiscriminate basis.”-Owen Fiss

October 31, 2016:

Today is Halloween, so it’s a fitting to play devil’s advocate just for fun – and perhaps for free candy.

Shocking as it might be to read these words (and those of Professor Fiss) in a newsletter from us – mediators and settlement counsel — there is no point denying that some cases just shouldn’t settle. To take it a step further, some cases should not even be mediated.

Forget about “Getting to Yes”. This is about “Staying at No” — and being fine with it.

Read more →