Mediation perspectives and issues affecting women in practice
28 March 2017
Brunch with Brian H Speers and Laurie Pawlitza
In collaboration with the Law Society of Tasmania
28 March, Hobart
Over 800 hundred lawyers from across the Commonwealth will attend the Commonwealth Lawyers Conference in Melbourne from 20th to 24th March. Two members of the Council of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association – Brian Speers (Belfast, Northern Ireland) and Laurie Pawlitza (Toronto, Canada) will visit Tasmania after the Melbourne Conference. Resolution Institute and the Law Society of Tasmania are delighted to host these international guests for a brunch session.
Programme (come to one or both talks)
10.30-11am Women in Practice
Providing a personal as well as Canadian perspective Laurie Pawlitza speaks on issues affecting women in practice.
11.05am-12.05 pm Mediation Perspectives
During this session Brian and Laurie will discuss:
- International perspectives on mediation – some views from Belfast and Toronto.
- Why the modern lawyer needs to know about mediation: court and client encouragement, sanctions for refusing, superior outcomes for the client.
- Selecting a mediator: mediator styles, conflicts of interest, nature of the dispute.
- Robustness in mediation: how not to cross the line between remaining neutral and “judging” the merits, reality testing – useful questions for mediators to use.
- Mediation advocacy: what works for the client and what mediators appreciate – and do not appreciate.
- Two key skills for mediators – Effective listening and identifying emotion.
- The wider context: experiences in the common law world.
Join your Chapter for this event that will broaden your international perspectives while sharing a light brunch with your colleagues.
About the speakers
Brian H Speers is one of the most experienced legal mediators in Northern Ireland. In 2010 - 11 he served as President of the Law Society of Northern Ireland. He is now Treasurer of the Law Society of Northern Ireland. He is a member of the Council of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA) and also serves on the Executive Committee of the CLA where he has accepted responsibility for incountry events and the E Volunteer research scheme.
He has devised and teaches the mediation training programme for solicitors, barristers and Judges run by the Institute of Professional Legal Studies at Queen’s University, Belfast. He is a long-time member of the Education Committee of the Law Society of Northern Ireland and has undertaken vocational training review for qualification as a solicitor in Northern Ireland.
Brian has been interviewed on various print and broadcast media about dispute resolution and ADR and mediation and has written extensively about mediation particularly in the journal of the Law Society of Northern Ireland. In 2011 he was appointed Visiting Professor of Disputes Resolution, at Ulster University, at the Graduate School of Law. Brian has spoken at many conferences on all aspects of mediation. In February 2016 he delivered mediation training in Windhoek for the Law Society of Namibia.
The situations in which Brian has acted as mediator include professional negligence, matrimonial, partnership disputes, shareholder and board room disputes, commercial contracts, product liability, sports clubs, health care disputes, intellectual property and defamation and have involved private individuals, corporations and Government departments.
Laurie Pawlitza is a high profile Canadian matrimonal lawyer and a Partner in Torkin Manes' Family Law Group. She acts in disputes involving high incomes, significant property, and custody and access issues. Her practice also includes mediation and arbitration. Laurie appears in Courts at trial and appellate levels.
Between 2010 and 2012, she was elected as the 63rd Treasurer (President) of The Law Society of Upper Canada, the regulator governing all lawyers and paralegals in Ontario; only the third woman in the Law Society’s 213 year history to hold this office. She remains co-Chair of the Law Society’s Retention of Women in Private Practice Project.
She is elected to the Council of the Commonwealth Lawyers’ Association, based in London, UK and has served on the Family Law Rules Committee, as Trustee of The Lawyers Club, on the OBA Family Law Executive, as Chair of the Law Society’s Professional Development and Competence Committee, as Vice-Chair of the Law Society’s Government Relations Committee and as Director of LawPRO, the insurer for all lawyers in Ontario.
She chairs the Federation of Law Societies of Canada Canadian Common Law Program Approval Committee, which approves all common law degree programs in Canada and all new law programs in Canada, and she is Ontario’s representative on the Federation of Law Societies of Canada Council. Laurie writes and speaks on issues relating to mediation, family law, professionalism, legal education and women's issues in the profession.