Notice to the Family Law Bar – Dispute Resolution Officer Panel

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 DRO panel in any one or more of the nine locations. 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[1]
  • 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
Toronto, ON
M5G 2K1
droempanelment@ontario.ca

The deadline to apply is January 15, 2018 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.

Please be advised that existing DRO panel members are not required to reapply to remain on the panel, but they should advise the Coordinator if they wish to join additional DRO locations.


[1] 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.