June Newsletter: Sold-out Unconference, Member Benefits and FDRIO in the Community!
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Unbelievable Unconference!

Our inaugural, sold-out Unconference exceeded our expectations. 

Click here for a fantastic video and photo's from the event!

This unconventional gathering saw 100 diverse FDR professionals from across the province mingle and meet, speak and listen, discuss and share concepts and knowledge. 

Keynote presenter Les Jacobs, Director of the Institute for Social Research at York University, set a thoughtful and intellectual theme, speaking about the demographics of the unrepresented persons in Ontario. Other great keynotes came from Hersh Perlis of Ryerson Legal Innovation Zone speaking about the advance of technology in the FDR field; Cinnie Noble of Cinergy Conflict Management speaking about the role conflict coaching plays in resolving family law disputes, and Jason Dykstra, speaking about social media, marketing and practice development. 

But the keynote speakers were just the start. The participants had all voted, in advance, on the topics of their choice. We were treated to over 30 presentations about everything from tips for family arbitrators, online dispute resolution, using financial specialists, the intersection of criminal and family law, a client’s perspective on family mediation-arbitration, and best practices in screening for power imbalances in FDR.  There was even some singing and dancing.  The overwhelming response is that this event was overdue and professionals were pleased to exchange a free-flow of ideas in an informal and charming forum.

The day ended with a lively wine and cheese, with great food, great new friends and many exciting new collaborations. 

Thank You Unconference Sponsors!


Rotenberg, Shidlowski, Jesin
Caskey Family Law
Hull & Hull LLP

mediate393 inc.
Cooperative Solutions
Krofchick Valuations

Not already a FDRIO member?

FDRIO offers a discounted membership for all FDR professionals. By joining FDRIO, you have the benefit of networking with like-minded FDR professionals from all areas of practice. 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, contribute to a growing bank of knowledge, attend fun, educational and innovative events, and promote the services that you offer to the family law field.

FDRIO will enable you to become certified as a FDR professional by a single organization in all areas in which you work. FDRIO provides its members with a powerful and united voice for progressive and accessible reform of the family law justice system.

Read more about the full benefits of joining our membership by clicking here
Ready to join FDRIO?  Please visit website to complete membership application and to submit form and credit card payment please email:

Join the FDRevolution at FDRWeek

November 21-25, 2016

Our 2016 FDRWeek plans are well underway.

The theme for FDRWeek this year is “FDRevolution”, highlighting the emerging revolutionary changes and innovative techniques, products, services and complexities of FDR practice. It will include speakers whose stature and experience reflect the revolution that is taking place in FDR and the many public and private offerings and services and processes that are evolving in response.

FDRIO's Latest News, Updates and Initiatives!

Committee on Domestic Violence Screening Policy

On June 10 we will host the inaugural interdisciplinary forum on screening for power imbalances and family violence in FDR. If you are interested in joining this event, please contact Barbara Landau (mailto:

FDRIO Members please check your email for the invitation,  and further details.

Member Benefits

September 1 is the launch date for our first professional designations, including Parenting Coordination and Family Arbitration. Stay tuned for more details.

Our FREE webinars for members begin in the fall! Save the dates for the first two! More to come.  Registration details to follow. 

  • Sept. 15, 2016 @ 12:00pm-2:00pm:  
    Lorne Wolfson: Effective Use of Mediation-Arbitration
  • Oct. 12, 2016 @ 12:00pm-2:00pm:
    Hilary Linton: Top Ten Tips for Effective Screening for Power Imbalances in Mediation and Med-Arb

Outreach to Faith Based and Community Organizations
Separation and divorce is one of the most difficult chapters in a person's life. FDRIO is actively involved in promoting awareness about Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) processes across Ontario to support families and children who are transitioning through this difficult time in a more cooperative, affordable and effective way.

Often separating families turn to their faith communities, family doctor or family service organizations for assistance at this difficult time. We want to work with the community to better serve these families. We welcome opportunities to make presentations about the separation process, its impact on parents and children, the role of various professionals and the options available for resolving these difficult life transitions. We also welcome the participation of our members in this community outreach.   Please contact Sina Hariri at e. for more information about current projects underway or to submit a proposal.

JusticeNet Patron Council Award
Founder and Director Dr. Barbara Landau was the honoured recipient of The 2016 Annual JusticeNet Patron Council Award. The award recognizes an individual in Canada whose career has been marked by a distinguished record of work that exemplifies JusticeNet's ideals of a more open and accessible justice system. Congratulations to Barbara!

FDRIO in the Community

FDRIO submission to Family Legal Services Review

Our submission to Chief Justice Bonkalo, on the possible role of paralegals in FDR, was presented in collaboration with Family Mediation Canada, the Ontario Collaborative Law Federation and the ADR Institute of Ontario.  Please visit the FDRIO website to review the submission.

Ontario's Access to Justice Challenge

The Legal Innovation Zone (“LIZ”), with the support of Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General, recently announced the launch of the Ontario Access to Justice Challenge, an initiative that will seek to improve access to justice through innovation. The Ontario Access to Justice Challenge will offer up to six successful startups admission to the LIZ to develop their ideas and the best among them will share $50,000 in seed money.

To apply for the Ontario Access to Justice Challenge and for complete program details please visit:

Save the Date

Sunday, November, 20th 
Toronto Don Valley Hotel & Suites

Monday, November 21st 
The Ismaili Centre, 49 Wynford Drive, Toronto

Featured Keynote Speakers:
Brad Heckman
CEO, New York Peace Institute

Karen BK Chan
Educator/Speaker on Diversity & Inclusion

Copyright © 2016 Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario, All rights reserved.

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