May, 2012


Dear Friends and Colleagues,


Welcome to the May issue of my Newsletter. Today's topic is: "The Role of Emotion in Dispute Resolution Processes." In my practice as a family law mediator, emotion is an aspect that is undeniably and always present. It is often the "elephant in the room," and its importance cannot be underestimated. In my view, emotion must be addressed in order for the mediation to proceed effectively. Many questions arise including: How does the mediator effectively address the emotion in the mediation room. Also, when may it be appropriate for the mediator to impose respectful limits on emotional "venting", and how can the mediator accomplish this. 


I had the privilege of teaching Family Mediation in the fall, to a second-year law school class on "Dispute Settlement Theory," Osgoode Hall Law School. One of the students, Philip Pollack, asked me a question about the role and importance of emotion in dispute resolution processes. This inspired a collaboration in which I  shared  observations and ideas with Philip and he wrote his course paper on the topic: "Controlling Emotions Setting the right Mood for Efficient and Effective Family Mediation." I have attached his highly interesting paper here, with the caveat that it is a work in progress to be further developed  into a larger paper possibly to be co-authored by Philip and myself . Stay tuned for more on this hugely important topic!


See also my article: "Positive Alternatives to Divorce Court: Mediation" regarding this, on my web site, on the Links and Resources Page.


Until next time!

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Attorney Spotlight
Anne Freed is a lawyer and a skilled mediator who believes in solving family law issues without her clients' lives being torn apart.


Anne has been practising law for 31 years. Her credentials include:
  • BA (Honours Sociology), McGill University
  • JD (Juris Doctor, Law Degree), University of British Columbia 
  • Master of Laws Degree in Alternative Dispute Resolution, Osgoode Law School, York University, Toronto
  • Advanced Training in Mediation, Arbitration and Collaborative Practice