This course is taught by Nicole L. Garton for North Shore Pro Bono. The course is 2 hours in length and costs $100.

This course is available to all practicing lawyers in BC.

Course Description
This course will address the ethical dilemmas that mediators face and provide students with the tools to navigate ethically challenging situations. Students will review professional codes of conduct and their application to ethical dilemmas that may arise as an ADR professional. Through the course, students will expand their knowledge on mediation values and walk away as a more reflective practitioner.

Course Goals
The objective of this course is to provide students with the skills and tools needed to maintain an ethical stance through a mediation.

Guiding Questions

  • What is unethical behavior in mediation?
  • What should a mediator do when personal or professional values are challenged?
  • When should mediation be terminated?
  • What are the steps that need to be taken if the decision is unclear?
  • What are the best ethical practices for mediators?
  • What is the professional responsibility of a mediator?
  • What are the guiding principles for ethics in mediation?
  • Are mediators responsible for fait outcomes?
  • Should pressure to reach a settlement inform the decision making?
  • Are there distinct ethical responsibilities when mediating in the family law arena?

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify the professional code of conduct
  2. Recognize the implications of ethical values in an ADR situation
  3. Respond to moral challenges that may arise in mediation
  4. Understand their professional responsibility in an ADR situation

Course Topics & Content

  • Code of Conduct
  • Stages of a mediation and the ethical responsibilities
  • Common ethical scenarios that arise and how to navigate them
  • Ethical obligations and considerations that arise in a family law mediation

Text and Resource Material

Mediate BC Code of Conduct – available for free download online

National Mediation Rules & Code of Conduct for Mediators (available for free download online)

Schulz, Jennifer L., Mediator Liability in Canada: An Examination of Emerging of American and Canadian Jurisprudence (2000). Ottawa Law Review, Vol. 32, No. 2, p. 269, 2000-2001. Available at SSRN:
https://ssrn.com/abstract=1975843 (free online)

Macfarlane J. “Mediating Ethically: The Limits of Codes of Conduct and the Potential of a Reflective Practise Model” https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/701d/20df163679d9af7c491c4ac828b5e46048d4.pdf

The Mediator and Ethical Dilemmas (free online)

Professionalism and Ethics in Family Law – the other 90% (free online)
Practical Guidelines for Comprehensive Family Mediation (online excepts)

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