Nestor Kostyniuk (Chair)
Laila Brabander for Tracy Brooks
Stanley C. Tessis
The Bar Dispute Resolution Group Forum (Counsel Forum) includes lawyers and paralegals who represent claimants and insurers before the Commission.
It consults with the Dispute Resolution Group of the Financial Services Commission
of Ontario on issues relating to the dispute resolution system.
- Approval of Minutes – Meeting of November 13, 2001
The November 13, 2001 Minutes should note that there were then 31 mediators on staff, of a complement of 36. The remaining spots were approved, and pending recruitment.
The Minutes were otherwise approved as submitted.
- Business Arising out of the Minutes
The statistics were reviewed. It was noted that almost all applications are brought by
33 of the 36 mediator spots are currently filled, and further recruitment is still being done.
The backlog in registering cases has been relieved by the addition of a case administrator and a caseworker. Currently, applications are registered one week after perfection. There is a fast track system if the applications are in the proper form. If not, a caseworker has to follow up for information.
It was noted that there had been an increase in applications at the end of 2001, causing some backlog, but this has now been caught up.
The Forum discussed Applications for Mediation brought after a Statement of Claim had been issued without a Report of Mediator. The Forum discussed whether a mediator can indicate that there is a preliminary issue outstanding. The question of being a gate-keeper to keep out applications, versus an insured person's ability to mediate claims was discussed. It was noted that a non-lawyer representative is sending a standard form letter which counsel members viewed as intimidating. FSCO members thought that the situation was under control.
It was noted positions were filled when an arbitrator left.
It was noted that there are some old decisions. FSCO is reviewing the situation with arbitrators who seem to have the delinquencies, and trying to make arrangements so that delinquencies can be remedied quickly.
More arbitrations will be set per week. Currently, 3 are set per arbitrator, and experience has indicated that the ratio can be expanded to 4:1. It is believed that this ratio is suitable for the number of applications that proceed to a hearing.
The format of the statistics was reviewed. It is anticipated that new forms will have further information about any delay in decisions.
Pre-hearing documentary disclosure was reviewed. Some counsel members expressed a concern that their documents were not reaching the pre-hearing arbitrator or being reviewed in time. FSCO indicated that the pre-hearing arbitrator tries to review all documents, depending on their volume.
Arbitrators who are not on a hearing try to do 9 pre-hearings per week, which is the same target as the mediators have.
The Forum considered letters being copied to FSCO. The suggestion is that only a final letter dealing with outstanding documents or disputes should be copied to FSCO.
- Appeals and Judicial Review
Fewer appeals have been filed than expected. - There are some older decisions which need attention, and this is being done.
The recent decisions in J.R. were reviewed.
- Recent Bulletins
The Forum discussed recent bulletins on CPP and settlement.
FSCO members indicated that the forms were now being completed. The Chair will be contacted for further input.
Some counsel members were apparently not in receipt of these bulletins. FSCO will check our attendance list to make sure that we are all on this list.
- Meeting Date
- We were reminded that the next meeting has been re-scheduled to Friday, April 5, 2002, 1:00 p.m. (cancelled on March 28, 2002 due to strike – next meeting to be held on May 31, 2002).