General Expertise

The acceptance and application of alternative dispute resolution continues to increase. Many more organizations are implementing systems of dispute resolution not as crisis intervention but as one of the indispensable tools of how they do business. The aim in many cases is to deal with a business conflict before it escalates to the point where relationships become irreparably harmed and business litigation is unavoidable.

Governments at all levels are using alternative dispute resolution to resolve difficult environmental and public policy conflicts as well as class-action lawsuits and psychologically disturbing claims arising from decades-old allegations of abuse. More commonplace disputes with suppliers and citizens are increasingly being diverted from costly and time-consuming litigation.

Law societies have begun using alternative dispute resolution strategies to resolve lawyer-client disputes.

The Courts have shown an increased interest and willingness to adopt mediation in a broad variety of cases. As courts and administrative agencies become swamped, alternative dispute resolution can provide an access to parties who feel excluded from the litigation process.

Alternative dispute resolution is an indispensable tool in the armoury of approaches to resolving conflict, the nature, origins and solutions of which continues to test our ingenuity.

As traditional resistance to alternative dispute resolution continues to erode and its techniques and effectiveness grows, so its acceptance in the management and resolution of conflict is more widely embraced.

Colin Taylor, Q.C. is a widely recognized and respected practitioner of alternative dispute resolution in all of its many forms including:

Over the past 30 years, Mr. Taylor has been called upon to apply his mediation, or assisted negotiation, skills in many high profile public sector disputes. He was appointed Industrial Inquiry Commissioner in the longest pulp and paper industry dispute in British Columbia; Special Officer in Alberta with respect to the Gainers and Maple Leaf Meats public disputes and Public Inquiry Commissioner in Prince Edward Island to inquire into and report on certain matters relating to health reform.

Mr. Taylor has successfully mediated numerous private sector disputes over the past 30 years including those in the steel industry; forestry; pulp and paper; energy; meat packing industry, construction and retail fields.

As an arbitrator, Mr. Taylor has conducted hearings and issued awards in hundreds of cases in both the private and public sectors and in both the commercial and labour fields. In the latter field, Mr. Taylor's awards have been published and cited widely, including in the LAC and Lancaster series.

Mr. Taylor has designed various procedures to suit the particular needs of disputants, including a number of expedited arbitration procedures and harassment investigation and mediation techniques. As well, he fashions innovative strategies to fit specific fact situations such as senior executive to senior executive assisted negotiation. A variation of this has Mr. Taylor making a final determination of those aspects of the dispute on which the senior executives cannot reach agreement.

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