THREAT TO CONFIDENTIALITY SEEN IN ORDER BY CANADIAN JUDGE REQUIRING A MEDIATOR TO TESTIFY

In a story reported this morning by The Globe and Mail of Toronto, the Ontario Bar Association has joined an appeal opposing an Ontario Superior Court judge’s order requiring a mediator to testify regarding the details of a settlement agreement in a complex and contentious business dispute.

Critics of the judge’s order are justifiably concerned about the public policy implications such an order, left unchallenged, could hold for a process which depends upon confidentiality to enable parties to conduct settlement discussions openly and candidly.

As readers of this blog know, a judge’s decision in Massachusetts raised similar concerns for dispute resolution practitioners in the Commonwealth.

The Canadian case will undoubtedly be watched closely by mediators and members of the bar alike. The appeal of the judge’s order will not be heard until September, so it will be many months before the fate of this appeal is known.

To read more about this case, click here for the full story in The Globe and Mail.

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