What's inside: FDR Week News, Upcoming Meetings and Benefits of Joining FDRIO...
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May 2015 Newsletter

Wine & Cheese Success!

Thank you to everyone who was able to attend the Meet and Greet event on April 21st!  It was a great success, bringing together many multidisciplinary FDR professionals for our inaugural event.

Upcoming Meeting & Events

JUNE 1, 2015
5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
151 Yonge St, Toronto
RSVP: Lorne Wolfson

JUNE 9, 2015

4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
135 Bayfield St, Suite 101, Barrie
RSVP: Dr. Brett Degoldi

JUNE 24, 2015

4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
466 Speers Rd, 3rd FL, Oakville
RSVP: Michelle Hayes or Lourdes Geraldo

JUNE 29, 2015
4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
RSVP: Margot Hallman or Rick Shields


NOVEMBER 23, 2015
Ryerson University

NOVEMBER 24, 2015
Toronto City Hall, Committee Room # 3

NOVEMBER 23-27, 2015
Various Locations Across Ontario!

DECEMBER 3, 2015
Interdisciplinary Trainers' Forum
Location TBC

OBA Award of Excellence
in Family Law

Congratulations to Lorne Wolfson, recipient of the 2015 OBA Award for Excellence in Family Law in Memory of James McLeod.  Lorne is a Founder of FDRIO, Section Committee Chair and Chair of the FDRIO Arbitration Section.  The award dinner will take place on June 11 at Granite Club.

Planning to attend? Register early to secure a spot!

Membership is Growing!

Welcome to new members Cheryl Goldhart, Jean-Claude Desnoyers, Susan Cook, Rashell Freedman, Daryl Landau, Karrela Paris, Carey Stevens, Heidi Surkis-Eisen and Richard Wise!

Want to join FDRIO?  CLICK HERE for our Membership Application.

Interested in becoming a Founder? Founder Fees are set off against your annual membership of FDRIO. CLICK HERE to see how.

Membership can now be paid using credit cards, debit cards and cheques.

GET INVOLVED!  Seeking section members! We have formed several sections, and each is forming a working group under the leadership of a chair or co-chairs. If you are interested in working with one of our sections, please contact the section chairs below:

Margot Hallman -  
Dr. Rick Shields -

Lorne Wolfson -

Neil Maisel -
Jean-Claude Desnoyers - 

Parenting Coordination                                    
Lourdes Geraldo -
Michelle Hayes -

Estates and Elder                           
Ian Hull - 

Collaborative Practice
Chris Arnold - 

Dr. Irwin Butkowsky -

Dr. Brett Degoldi - 

Nov. 23-27, 2015
Let's Talk it Out


We invite you to get involved in Ontario's first Family Dispute Resolution Week, a province-wide series of events for the public and professionals about FDR.

Supported by The Law Society of Upper Canada and The Action Group on Access to Justice (TAG) the week features events including:

November 23-Inaugural Conference and AGM: We are honoured that Premier Kathleen Wynne will open the conference "All in the Family: Bringing FDR Under One Roof." Our keynote presenter is acclaimed dispute resolution guru Dr. Bernie Mayer, author of "The Conflict Paradox" and other seminal books.  

November 24: Free public FDR Forums will take place across the province, including at Toronto City Hall, in Newmarket and Durham, featuring a replica of a Family Law Information Centre, speakers about all forms of family dispute resolution, information about Ontario's free family mediation and Legal Aid services, presentations by mental health professionals, family lawyers, and much more! Contact us if you want to get involved!

November 26: Ontario's first forum on family mediation-arbitration, led by an expert on the process from British Columbia, Carol Hickman.

Other events include a major public policy/academic forum on a wide ranging array of access to justice issues in family dispute resolution; workshops dealing with issues of gender, culture, power imbalance and domestic violence, as well as professional networking events.

If you would like to get involved in organizing events or as a sponsor, contact us at

Q: What is FDRIO?

The Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario is a federally-incorporated not-for-profit that seeks to enhance the family dispute resolution profession and also to increase public awareness in Ontario about the many FDR options.

Q: Who are its members?

FDRIO unites FDR professionals for the first time.  FDRIO also unites professionals from across the province.  FDRIO’s members are a wide array of individuals providing family dispute resolution services. Many are private professionals, such as mediators, arbitrators, financial professionals, parenting coordinators, coaches and consultants, collaborative practitioners, therapists/assessors, child and family specialists and elder/estates specialists. Others work in court-connected FDR processes, including as family information and mediation service providers, Dispute Resolution Officers, and family court support workers, etc.

Many FDR professionals provide services or expertise to help families in a variety of processes. Hence, the value for FDRIO’s members is to belong to a single organization that meets as many of their diverse professional needs as possible.

Q: What are the member benefits?

For our first year, we are offering a discounted membership fee to reflect the fact that our organization is new. By joining FDRIO, you have the benefit of meeting and networking with like-minded FDR Professionals from all areas of practice.

You can contribute to your profession in a meaningful and lasting way. You can belong to as many sections as you wish for no added fee. By joining a section, you have the opportunity to shape the evolving standards of practice in your field. You can participate in our first annual conference at a membership rate. You can get involved with organizing events for Ontario's first-ever Family Dispute Resolution Week.

As we grow and establish our presence and role, the benefits for our members will become more tangible, including the ability to become certified by a single organization as a Family Dispute Resolution Professional in as many areas in which you work.

Q: What will FDRIO do?

(a) FDRIO Sections will develop standards of practice, training and credentialing for as many FDR processes as is feasible and practical. The Sections will work together to harmonize the process  for credentialing among themselves.

(b) FDRIO will work with other FDR organizations whenever possible to share resources, collaborate on issues of training, harmonize standards and offer reciprocal recognition of certification.

(c) FDRIO will provide information and education to the public to enhance public awareness of the many FDR process options available and the differences among them through events such as Family Dispute Resolution Week. One of the goals of FDRIO is to promote and normalize for the public what are currently known as “alternative” dispute resolution processes, so that these FDR processes become the standard for appropriate cases, with litigation being the “alternative” for those cases requiring judicial intervention and oversight.

d) FDRIO will provide professional networking and education opportunities for its members through its annual conference, conferences and events co-sponsored with other organizations for FDR professionals.

(e) FDRIO will provide a single, united voice of advocacy on behalf of families from the many forms of FDR services its members provide.

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