ADR Institute of Canada (ADRIC) is pioneering the Med-Arb hybrid approach combining the benefits of mediation and arbitration. It is the first in Canada and believed to be the first in the world, according to ADRIC’s vice-president, Elton Simoes.
ADRIC intends to launch a new Med-Arb framework, including the designation process, at its Annual National Conference in Victoria, BC on November 20-22, 2019. Parties first attempt to collaborate on an agreement through non-binding mediation, with the help of a mediator. If the mediation does not result in a settlement, the mediator assumes the role of arbitrator and, following agreed upon arbitration procedures, issues a binding decision. Since December 2015, ADRIC has considered and committed to develop guidelines or a framework for Med-Arb processes. Since then, ADRIC has also considered a Med-Arb designation for practitioners who can demonstrate the appropriate education and experience. ADRIC President Andrew Butt commented, “Med-Arb is becoming increasingly popular. We are looking forward to launching this exciting new Med-Arb framework. As Canada’s leading ADR organization, we constantly strive to promote and maintain the highest ADR practice standards”.
In 2018, ADRIC struck a Med-Arb Working Group to develop Med-Arb Rules / Standards of Practice, Med-Arb Agreement Templates and Med-Arb designation criteria. This working group was comprised of skilled Med-Arb experts from across Canada including Elton Simoes as Chair and members Anik Béland, Colm Brannigan, Genevieve Chornenki, Arlene Henry, Gerry Nera, Marge Thompson, Rick Weiler and Michael Welsh, who worked to develop the materials. The group reported to the ADRIC Board of Directors in January 2019. The Board accepted the working group’s recommendations and requested that the ADRIC Ethics & Professional Practice Committee conduct its own review. As was the case with ADRIC’s flagship product, the ADRIC Arbitration Rules, a plain language expert will also review the proposed Med-Arb Rules to ensure they are streamlined and practical.