The Dispute Resolution Officer (DRO) program operates in Barrie, Brampton, Durham, Hamilton, Milton, Newmarket, London, St. Catharines and Toronto. The DRO program provides family litigants with an early evaluation of their case by a neutral third party for purposes of facilitating settlement and narrowing the issues in dispute. In locations where the DRO program is offered, the initial conference on a Motion to Change is before a DRO rather than a judge. The DRO meets with the parties to identify the issues in dispute, explore settlement options and determine if the file is ready to go before a judge. DROs do not have the authority to make orders but are often able to help the parties agree to a settlement to all or part of the case which can then be reviewed and endorsed by a judge. At minimum, DROs can assist in resolving any outstanding issues relating to disclosure and setting a schedule for next steps in the proceeding.
The Superior Court of Justice in collaboration with the Ministry of the Attorney General is seeking candidates to join the London and St. Catharines DRO panels. Candidates admitted to the panel will receive compensation on a fee-for-service basis at the rate of $250.00 per day plus HST if applicable.
Selection criteria include:
- A minimum of 10 years of experience in the practice of family law
- Membership in good standing with the Law Society of Upper Canada as a barrister and solicitor
- Family law expertise, including negotiation, litigation and ADR processes
- Advanced knowledge of family court procedures, relevant legislation, and case law
- Exceptional problem solving and dispute resolution skills
- Knowledge of the local Family Court and its family justice participants
- Superior administrative and time management skills
The Application form for admission to the panel is attached to this email.
Send completed Application package to:
DRO Empanelment Coordinator
Ministry of the Attorney General
720 Bay Street, 2nd Floor
The deadline to apply is April 10, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. All applications must be completed in full, including the necessary authorizations, references and approval. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.
We thank you for your interest. Only those selected for further screening will be contacted.
Accommodation is available under the Ontario Human Rights Code.
 Retired members may also apply provided that at the time of retirement his or her license was not suspended. Retired Masters and Judges may also apply for admission to the panel.
Effective January 1, 2017, the following changes have been made to the Superior Court of Justice’s Practice Directions:
Consolidated Provincial Practice Direction
Paragraph 57 has been amended regarding the gowning policy of the court.
Consolidated Practice Direction for the Central West Region
Part I section J of this Practice Direction amends the requirements relating to conferences in family matters.
Practice Direction Concerning Civil Proceedings in the Central East Region
This updated Practice Direction replaces the previous Consolidated Practice Direction for the Central East region and is applicable to civil matters only.
Remarks of Chief Justice Heather Smith
Superior Court of Justice
Opening of the Courts
Toronto, September 13, 2016
Effective September 15, 2016
(Effective September 1, 2016)
In R. v. Jordan, 2016 SCC 27, the Supreme Court of Canada established a new framework for applications for a stay of proceedings due to unreasonable delay under s. 11 (b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The Superior Court of Justice has issued a Practice Direction to ensure that s. 11(b) applications are scheduled and conducted in a fair and effective manner by (i) clarifying what supporting materials are required for s. 11(b) applications; and, (ii) requiring all s. 11(b) applications be heard well in advance of the trial.
Amendments to the Consolidated Practice Direction for the Southwest Region