In Memory of Betty Ife

Elizabeth Anne Ife Dec. 31, 1956 - Mar. 20, 2017
Elizabeth Anne Ife
Dec. 31, 1956 – Mar. 20, 2017

Betty Ife was a dear friend, colleague, mediator, teacher and mentor. In whatever role you knew Betty, she stood apart as someone very special with a genuine appreciation for people. Serving on the FMC Board of Directors for 10 years in her various roles as President, Treasurer, Editor of Resolve, FMC Certification Chair and numerous other committees, Betty was a tremendous advocate for mediation.

Betty was a transformational leader, had a gift for innovative thinking, was extremely passionate about family mediation and was committed to improving the field. She worked as a Family Justice Counsellor in the Burnaby, Surrey and the North Shore Family Justice Centres for 20 years. Her first profession was as a teacher and she obtained a Bachelor and Master’s Degree in Education. She was passionate about assisting families with domestic violence issues and participated on innovative committees in Delta (DOVE) and the North Shore (ICAT). She was also trained as Crown Counsel Victim/Witness Services Volunteer Caseworker.

Betty was a mentor for new family mediators with the Mediate BC Family Mediation Practicum Program and she was on the faculty with the Justice Institute of British Columbia. She co-authored a parent education program called “Separated With Children-Dealing with the Finances” with the Justice Education Society of British Columbia. Betty’s energy, integrity, commitment and countless contributions were remarkable. Betty was one of a kind and will be sorely missed by many as an advocate, colleague and friend.

She leaves behind her sister Debbie and Debbie’s husband Fred Adams and their extended family.

Gathering

Those of you who would like to join the gathering of Betty’s friends, family and colleagues; we will meet:

Thursday, March 30th 2:00 – 4:00PM
Royal Canadian Legion
123 West 15th Street, North Vancouver

In lieu of flowers, donations will be gratefully accepted at the North Shore Crisis Services Society by calling 604-987-0366, where the Betty Ife Fund will be set up to help those in need.

It is with great regret that we advise of Betty Ife’s unexpected passing. We extend our condolences to Betty’s family, friends and colleagues. We deeply appreciate Linda Bonnell in preparing these remarks on the work of her dear friend.

How Unbundled Legal Services Can Support Your Mediation Clients

Since January 2016, Mediate BC has been spearheading a Law Foundation of BC funded project to encourage more family lawyers to provide “unbundled legal services”. The BC Family Unbundling Roster was launched recently, already has 36 participating lawyers (as of March 15, 2017) and continues to grow.

How will unbundling and the Roster assist family mediation practices and clients?

Family mediators told us that many of their clients are not represented by a lawyer and are reluctant to seek legal advice due to cost. Few clients actually seek and obtain independent legal advice (ILA) on agreements even though mediators recommend they do so. While some free legal services are available (Access Pro Bono, Legal Aid duty counsel and Family LawLine etc.), they are not available in all communities and many clients are not financially eligible for these services.

Effective legal advice can help the process move smoothly and provide clients with the help they need to overcome roadblocks. If one party is represented and the other does not have access to counsel it can create challenging power imbalances and put the mediator in a difficult position.
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There are many ways in which unbundling lawyers can support the mediation process. The Unbundling Roster now provides you with a “one stop” resource to assist your mediation client(s) to find a lawyer to assist them. Here are some of the ways that unbundling lawyers can assist:

  • Providing legal advice before mediation
  • Providing legal advice, as needed, during the mediation process
  • Representation during mediation (attending the mediation sessions)
  • Legal coaching about preparing for and participating in mediation
  • Preparing documents for mediation
  • Drafting agreements coming out of mediation
  • Providing independent legal advice on agreements

The Unbundling Roster is not just a list of names. Each roster lawyer has provided detailed information about themselves, their practice, the types of unbundled legal services they provide and their approach to providing these services. Just click on the link to the full profile for each lawyer.

Hint: We know that lawyers vary in their support for the mediation process. Check out the roster lawyers’ profile answers to the questions that focus on whether they have taken mediation training and the number of mediations in which they have participated.

BC Family Unbundling RosterAs part of the project evaluation we will be seeking feedback from clients, family lawyers and family mediators. Your input will be critical in assessing whether unbundled legal services improve access to justice for BC families, particularly those who are using mediation.

Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions. We appreciate your support!

Kari D. Boyle
Kari D. Boyle

Kari D. Boyle is the BC Family Unbundling Roster Project Manager. She is also the Coordinator of the BC Family Justice Innovation Lab, a Knowledge Engineer with the BC Civil Resolution Tribunal, Board member of the Courthouse Library Society of BC and member of Access to Justice BC. Kari served as Mediate BC’s Executive Director and then Director of Strategic Initiatives for ten years. She enjoys using her legal, mediation and leadership experience to collaborate with others to improve BC citizens’ access to justice. Kari invites you to contact her for more information at 604-838-2149 or kari.boyle@shaw.ca.

Mediate BC Announces New Med-Arb Standards of Conduct

Med-Arb is a unique hybrid process where, following a binding agreement, a med-arbitrator assists parties to resolve their issues through mediation, or by deciding any unresolved issues through arbitration. This newer process is gaining some popularity and interest from the public and dispute resolution professionals. It balances the opportunity to reach a mutually acceptable agreement and the certainty of resolution. Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation blog has recently featured a couple of posts on this new process. Some concerns raised in these posts are addressed by the new standards released by Mediate BC.

Mediate BC has released new Standards of Conduct for Med-Arbitrators.

Med-Arb: Standards of Conduct; Mediate BC Standards of Conduct for Med-ArbitratorsThese standards were developed by a joint working group from Mediate BC and the British Columbia Arbitration and Mediation Institute (BCAMI), their review of published materials from various jurisdictions, and the feedback of their peers. Adhering to the Standards of Conduct for Med-Arbitrators is one of the requirements for maintaining status on Mediate BC’s new Med-Arb Roster.

Apply to the Med-Arb Roster

With the publishing of these Standards, Mediate BC is now accepting applications to the new Med-Arb Roster. Similar to the Civil and Family Mediator Rosters, the Med-Arb Roster establishes a minimum standard of training, experience and professionalism for med-arbitrators. It also ensures those who use med-arbitrator services have recourse to Mediate BC’s complaints process based on the new Standards of Conduct, and ensures the med-arbitrators are suitably insured. The Med-Arb Roster also provides a hub for the public to find and access med-arbitrator services.

Med-Arb Roster Criteria for Admission

Mediate BC looks forward to launching the Med-Arb Roster for public access in the near future.