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This course is taught by Nicole L. Garton for the North Shore Pro Bono Society. The course is 6 hours in length and costs $500.

This course is available to family law ADR professionals.

Course Description
This course will cover both theory and skills of mediation and conflict resolution in family law scenarios.
The course is designed to offer practicing lawyers an opportunity to expand on their knowledge and refresh their skills that are so critical in their daily practice as mediators. Moreover, this course will allow students to acquire specialized knowledge of family mediation. This course attempts to integrate the conceptual frameworks and models that guide mediation with the practical skills needed in family dispute settings.
Throughout this course, students will learn how to document and record sessions, agreements, and memorandums. Students will walk away with a better understanding of the nature and source of conflict in the context of family dispute resolution, and the role and objectives of a mediator.

Course Objectives

  • To provide advanced tools for conflict analysis and mediation process design
  • To consider mediation in the context of child support, spousal support and property division
  • To discuss the effective parenting plans and other strategies for high conflict families
  • To explore mediator ethics and reflective practice strategies
  • To share best practices and tools to deal with challenges often faced by mediators
  • For students to gain a deeper understanding of mediation theory as it applies to the family law context
  • To understand the impact of cultural differences in the mediation process

Learning Outcomes

  1. To acquire a more in depth understanding of the family mediation process
  2. To acquire an advanced-level understanding of the dynamics of interfamilial conflict and family transition
  3. To identify scenarios when alternative dispute resolution will and will not be effective
  4. To develop core strategies and methods of mediating in the family law context
  5. To refine skills in screening for abuse and power imbalance
  6. To reflect on individual practice and refine current techniques
  7. To acquire tools to communication with different styles and adapt to various conflict scenarios that may arise in the family law context

Course Topics & Content

  • Approaches for managing and resolving in the family law setting
  • Your role as a mediator
  • Approaches to mediation: common pitfalls and errors
  • Advanced skills for effective mediation
  • Screening for Appropriateness
  • Conflict analysis: understanding causes of conflict and opportunities for collaboration
  • How to plan your mediation
  • Strategies for effective mediation
  • Common Issue: Custody and Access
  • Common Issue: Support and Property
  • Common Issue: Spousal Abuse

Text and Resource Material

The Family Dispute Resolution Handbook, 6th Edition

Required Articles
Professionalism and Ethics in Family Law – the other 90% (free online)
Collaborative Family Law and Gender Imbalances (free online)
An Introduction to the model standards of practice for family and divorce mediation (free online)
Best Practices for Screening for Family Violence and Power Imbalances in Family Mediation-Arbitration(free online)
The voice of the Child in Separation/ Divorce Mediation (free online)
Arguments for an Equal Parental Responsibility Presumption in Contested Child Custody (free download)

Recommended Resources
CLE BC Family Practice Manual – Working Towards Settlement (CLEBC subscription is required)
CLEBC Family Law Conference 2015 – Med/Arb in Family Law Arena (CLEBC subscription is required)
Mandatory mediation of custody in the face of domestic violence: Suggestions for courts and mediators. ($42 PDF download)

** All articles and CLEBC sources are available online. Students are expected to download and review
the documents prior to the course. We encourage students to go paperless.