Our groundbreaking Un-Conference is fast-approaching; also some save-the-date details for #FDRWeek and the #FDRevolution Nov. 21-26!
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Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario
Proudly Presents the First Unconference

Our May 4 unconference is the most innovative FDR event of the year!!!

Tickets ($75 only including wine and cheese networking event ) for the full day event are well more than half sold out... so don't wait.  You can register here.

Join the industry's thought-leaders and participate in reflective dialogue on the most pressing issues facing FDR professionals, and the public who seek access to family justice.

Who is coming? Here are only some of those who will be proposing to speak:

  • Les Jacobs
  • Cinnie Noble
  • Jason Dykstra
  • Hilary Linton
  • Leah Allison
  • Omar Ha-Redeye
  • Dr. Brett Degoldi
  • Elizabeth Chak
  • Hersh Perlis
  • Robert Rotenberg
  • Angela Pickard
  • Peter Bruer
  • Marion Korn and Eva Sachs
  • Russell Alexander
  • Mitchell Ornstein
  • Joel Miller
  • Lorne Wolfson
  • Mike MacConnell
  • Dr. Barbara Landau
  • Lynn Kaplan
  • Sina Hariri

What will you learn? Proposed topics include:

  • Technology and family justice
  • Connections between family & community DR
  • Fresh thinking about services for self-reps
  • Has no fault divorce made adultery morally acceptable?
  • When is family arbitration suitable?
  • The role of paralegals in family law
  • New models of triage in family DR practice and court
  • The Yoga of Divorce
  • Should all FDR professionals be required to screen for family violence?
  • The top ten mistakes family lawyers make in criminal law matters
  • Challenges faced by LGBTQ families
  • Financial forecasting in “grey” divorces
  • How to create, build and market your FDR practice

Who are our sponsors?

  • uLaw Practice
  • Rotenberg, Shidlowski, Jesin
  • Caskey Family Law
  • Kinso
  • Thistoo
  • Hull & Hull LLP

It is too late to be a sponsor or exhibitor?

Not yet! Click here for more information.

Visit our website for the most updated event poster, to register or for more information.

Register Here!

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.

FDRIO will enable you to become certified as a FDR professional by a single organization in all areas in which you work. FDRIO provides it's 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, click button below!

FDRIO's Latest News, Updates and Initiatives!

Mentor Hotline
FDRIO is excited to announce its Member Hotline. 

Once the hotline is up and running, questions may be submitted at e. and we will be sending out an e-mail notification containing the website link as soon as same is available.

Commencing May, 2016, FDRIO will be sponsoring monthly webinars for its members.  These webinars (free for FDRIO members) require registration at e. at least 48 hours prior to the date of the webinar.  Our first webinar will be conducted on May 10, 2016 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Lorne Wolfson will present a webinar entitled “Preparing For and Conducting a Pre-Arbitration Conference”.  For further information about how to register and future webinar dates, please go to the FDRIO website at
Committee on Screening Policy
FDRIO has struck a committee to provide recommendations to its Board of Directors on a proposed policy for screening in family law arbitration and mediation-arbitration.  That committee will be chaired by Barbara Landau, the Chair of FDRIO’s Education and Advocacy Committee.

The committee plans a full day workshop on screening for domestic violence and power imbalance in family law arbitration.  FDRIO members are encouraged to participate in the workshop and to submit their comments and recommendations for our screening policy to Barbara Landau at  Further information can be found on the FDRIO website at

Academic/Policy Section Announcement
FDRIO is delighted to announce that the new Co-Chairs of its Academic/Policy Section are Linda Ennis and Jennifer Leitch.  Linda can be reached at and Jennifer can be reached at  Martha Simmons and Les Jacobs are also members of the Section.  FDRIO members who would like to join the Academic/Policy Section (at no additional cost) or to simply obtain more information, should contact either Linda or Jennifer directly. 

Arbitration Agreement Committee
The Arbitration Section has established a committee to develop a standard arbitration and mediation-arbitration agreement for use by FDRIO members conducting arbitrations and mediation-arbitrations.  The committee consists of Lorne Wolfson, Rick Shields, Brahm Siegel, and Ella Bernhard.  Your comments and suggestions would be appreciated by the committee.  Please forward them to Lorne Wolfson at
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.
Leading Women Building Communities Award
Barbara Landau, a Founder, past Chair and current FDRIO board member, has been awarded the Leading Women Building Communities Award by the Ontario government for her many years of community work. 
FDRIO congratulates Barbara for this well deserved honour.  

FDRIO in the Community

FDRIO Meets with AG Staff
On March 4, 2016 Lorne Wolfson, Hilary Linton, and Brahm Siegel met with John Gregory and Miranda Gass-Donnelly, two senior staff in the Attorney General’s policy department, to discuss current issues arising out of the 2007 amendments to the Arbitration Act and the Regulation to the Arbitration Act.  The discussion included topics such as screening for domestic violence and power imbalance, the requirement to submit family arbitration reports and other topics of concern to FDR professionals who practice family law arbitration.  The AG staff expressed interest in our concerns and a willingness to address our future recommendations for changes in this area.  FDRIO’s Arbitration Section will be developing recommendations in coming months. 
FDRIO Participates in Ryerson’s Legal Innovation Zone
In February, 2016 Ryerson University issued its report on the Family Reform Community Collaboration conducted by its Legal Innovation Zone.  A number of FDRIO members participated in the meetings that ultimately culminated in that report.  FDRIO has agreed to participate in developing prototypes based on the LIZ’s recommendations.  If you are interested in participating in this work, please contact Barbara Landau at

Read the full Ryerson Family Reform Legal Innovation Report by clicking here!
FDRIO Responds to the LCO’s Interim Report
In October, 2015, the Law Commission of Ontario issued its interim report on Legal Capacity, Decision-Making, and Guardianship.  In March 2016, FDRIO submitted its response to the LCO interim report.  That response was prepared by Ellen Anderson, Co-Chair of the FDRIO Estates and Elder Section.
FDRIO Input to Bonkalo Report
The Attorney General has appointed Justice Annemarie Bonkalo to lead a review of whether to open the delivery of family law services to non-lawyers.  FDRIO intends to submit a report to Justice Bonkalo.  If you are interested in contributing comments, please forward them to Barbara Landau at, Chair of FDRIO’s Education and Advocacy Committee, by April 30, 2016

Join the FDRevolution at FDRWeek

November 21-25, 2016

Our 2016 FDRWeek plans are well underway, with the goal of reaching out to the public more broadly to the public in malls, libraries and community centres across the province in an effort to increase FDR awareness and educational resources.

The theme for FDRWeek this year is “FDRevolution”, highlighting the emerging revolutionary changes and innovative techniques, products and services 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.

We are inviting your participation in this cutting-edge week of events and supporting our organization’s success. Please consider attending our conference and enjoying the benefits of networking with like-minded professionals.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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 B. Chan
Educator/Speaker on Diversity & Inclusion


Ontario Collaborative Law Federation’s 9th Conference- April 28-30, 2016 Kitchener, Ontario

‘Innovation in Collaborative Practice: Creative Solutions for Families in Transition’

The OCLF represents 18 groups of specially trained professionals across the province providing not only legal, but also family and financial support to couples during separation and divorce. Interested in learning about, kick-starting, or improving your Collaborative Practice? Our Conference is designed to inspire you!

For more information and registration details, click here:  OCLF Conference

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

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