For a decade, Susanna Jani was Roster Administrator for the B.C. Mediator Roster Society*, managing its day-to-day operations, activities and projects, including the initial research phase of the Distance Family Mediation Project. In 2009, she followed her passion for this environmentally-friendly project and became Project Coordinator for its second, pilot phase which tested the delivery of distance family mediation services in remote, non-urban areas of British Columbia. She remains Project Coordinator for the current, province-wide test phase of the Distance Family Mediation Project. Prior to her work for the Society, Susanna worked as an independent researcher, conducting field research and providing data analysis and interpretation for evaluations and projects relating to justice, employment, social and family services.
Contact Susanna Jani
Time to Connect With Our Roots
These are interesting times in the BC justice sector. The BC Justice Review, led by Geoffrey Cowper Q.C., is continuing, the Ministry of Justice tabled Bill 44 (the Civil Resolution Tribunal Act) in early May and the criminal prosecutions from the Vancouver riot in June 2011 are crawling along through the system. It causes me to ponder the role of the Dispute Resolution (“DR”) community in all of this. How can we make a difference? How can we help to improve access to justice for BC citizens?
How Good Emailing Can Improve a Bad Relationship
Today, you are in for a real treat. Jane Henderson, Q.C., our perennially popular blogger and member of our distance mediation team, is back with another of her signature frank, but light-hearted, posts. I hope you are settled into a comfortable chair because this is one you’ll want to read to the end!
The Best Interests of Children: Negotiating in the Shadow of the Law
Today, it is my privilege to publish a post about what is undoubtedly the single most important consideration for separating parents — including when they are participating in family mediation.
Why Bother Trying Mediation?
Because, whether we want them to or not, our connections with others are enduring. We can ignore them or deny them but, once made, they stay with us forever — as do any any loose ends left in our connections.
My “Big Three” BC Family Law Information Powerhouses
It comes as no surprise that many of our readers have been wondering about British Columbia’s new Family Law Act. I confess to wondering about it also. It has been quite a few months since it received Royal Assent, and the suspense about it is beginning to grow.
When it ain’t Easy to Say the Right Thing: How Distance Mediators Help
“The difference between the right word and the almost right word
is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” (Mark Twain). I wish I’d seen that quote years ago, when I was in the midst of my own separation. In hindsight, I can say without hesitation that many of the discussions I had with my ex about how to reorganize our lives went sideways for no other reason than that I didn’t understand how important my choice of words actually was.
Mediation and the Two Wolves in Us
I had that familiar, sinking feeling last night when I started cleaning out the inbox for my personal e-mails. My old friend, Procrastination, had left me with a stack of messages whose fate needed deciding — 549 in total. The feeling evaporated, though, the moment I started rereading an e-mail that had come from an acquaintance quite some time ago.
Mediator – Know Thyself! (Part II)
Improving self-awareness is more challenging. It is true that “we don’t know what we don’t know”. Left to our own devices we may indeed be missing things.
How does Mediation Lead to a Legally Enforceable Agreement?
One of the questions we most often receive about family mediation is whether, at the end of mediation, there will be an enforceable, legally binding agreement. As seems to be the case with so many of life’s important questions, the answer to this is not a simple “yes” or “no”.
The Joy of Mediating in my P.J.’s: Telephone-based Mediation
In today’s post our distance mediation team member, the inimitable Ronald Smith, Q.C., describes his own experiences with using the telephone to conduct family mediations. He also shares some of the interesting (and surprising!) lessons he has learned about working with this communication medium:
Daring to Think Small
I think, by daring to think “small”, you and I might just make a big difference.
Unsure Where to start? A Handful of Separation and Divorce Resources to Get you Going
For many people, going through separation or divorce can be truly overwhelming. In fact, I feel pretty confident in saying that, for many, the experience can be brutally overwhelming.
From Susanna Jani
Where can the most significant collection of material relating to mediation be found on the Internet? Without hesitation, I would say it is on Mediate.com. The vast array of articles, videos and other information housed on Mediate.com’s site is simply unrivaled, in my view. Congratulations on your 400th and thank you for your amazing contribution to the continuing development of mediation.
“I Listen Better When I Can Talk” (and other disadvantages of videoconferencing in distance mediation)
In a recent post, I explored some of the advantages of using computer-based videoconferencing platforms to conduct family mediations from a distance. In spite of our preference for these platforms, our distance mediation team recognizes that they also come with a number of disadvantages.
The Clouds and Silver Lining of Divorce in B.C.
A recent post by Nate Russell on the Courthouse Libraries BC blog has got me thinking about just how lucky we are when it comes to getting a divorce in British Columbia today.
Family Mediation: One Lawyer Tells How She Does It
Mediation is very much a child-centered process. As Mediator, if the children are of an appropriate age, I may be asked to speak to the children about what is going on and how it is impacting them. Sometimes it is more appropriate for that conversation to be with a child specialist rather than the Mediator.
Mixing Distance and Technology into the Agreement to Mediate
This Agreement may be entered into by each party signing a separate copy and delivering it to the other party and the Mediator by fax, scanned e-mail attachment, or other means.
On Reducing the Gap Between You and Your Former Spouse
“Coincidence” knocked on my door again a few days ago. I had literally just finished reading James Hollis’ What Matters Most: Living a More Considered Life (Penguin Books, 2009) when what appears in my Inbox but a notification about a new post on one of my favourite blogs, Ben Ziegler’s Collaborative Journeys.