Canadian Lawyer

November 2021

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Both family and employment lawyers see a similar phenomenon — hidden disagreements coming out in public, yet a reluctance to use top-down dispute resolution. www.canadianlawyermag.com 1 EDITOR'S DESK UPFRONT www.canadianlawyermag.com EDITORIAL Editor-in-Chief Tim Wilbur Senior Editor Elizabeth Raymer Editor Zena Olijnyk Editor Aidan Macnab Production Editor Josh Lewis Writers Annabel Oromoni, Bernise Carolino CONTRIBUTORS Lorin MacDonald, Heather Suttie ART & PRODUCTION Art Director Marla Morelos Customer Success Managers Amie Suttie, Cristina Tamolang Production Co-ordinators Kat Guzman, Loiza Razon Global Production Manager Alicia Chin SALES & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT VP, Media and Client Strategy Dane Taylor Sr. Business Development Manager Steffanie Munroe Business Development Manager Lynda Fenton National Account Executive Abhiram Prabhu CORPORATE President Tim Duce Events and Conference Manager Chris Davis Chief Information Officer Colin Chan Human Resources Manager Julia Bookallil Global CEO Mike Shipley Global COO George Walmsley EDITORIAL INQUIRIES tim.wilbur@keymedia.com NAUK SUBSCRIPTIONS CO-ORDINATOR Donnabel Reyes tel: 647 374 4536 ext. 243 donnabel.reyes@keymedia.com ADVERTISING INQUIRIES legaladvertise@keymedia.com M any of the dramatic conflicts of the pandemic were immediately apparent, like the crises facing hospitals and long-term care facilities. However, other disputes were invisible, occurring behind closed doors in homes as we endured lockdowns and remote work. But as public spaces open up again, much of this conflict is now being seen in public. For family law lawyers, the pandemic has caused more high-conflict cases in the courts. Nicholas Bala, a family law expert at Queen's University, says COVID has created social anxiety and scope for disputes about online versus in-person schooling; safety and health protocols; and now, litigation about vaccination (p. 24). But, because of the court backlogs, families have been forced to be creative as well. Many "people are focussed more on resolution, out of the practical inability to access courts," says Ryan Kniznik at Blaney McMurtry LLP. Recent family law reforms have also put the onus on parents to work out their parenting arrangements in advance. Judges "want people to figure these things out without court intervention," Kniznik says. In employment law, employers asking their workers to return to the office are also navigating altered perceptions of work. "A lot of people will have realized that they want to have more flexibility and be at home, take some time during the day to handle personal matters, look after the kids, and they're willing to work off-hours to make up for it," says employment lawyer Stuart Rudner (p. 30). "It's not as though they want to work less. They want to work differently." While workplace disputes are making their way to the courts, employment lawyers advise companies to remain flexible to avoid unnecessary conflict. "You have to think, is taking a hard line on return to the office going to affect morale? Is it going to affect productivity?" asks Walter Pavlic at MLT Aikins LLP. Both family and employment lawyers see a similar phenomenon — hidden disagreements coming out in public, yet a reluctance to use top-down dispute resolution. While these disputes are undoubtedly challenging for those going through them, they are also an opportunity to think differently about fixing them. Tim Wilbur, Editor-in-Chief Private conflicts, and resolutions, become public ISSUE 45.09 | NOVEMBER 2021 Canadian Lawyer is published 10 times a year by Key Media Canada (Law) Ltd. KEY MEDIA and the KEY MEDIA logo are trademarks of Key Media IP Limited, and used under licence by Key Media Canada (Law) Ltd. CANADIAN LAWYER is a trademark of Key Media Canada (Law) Ltd. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted without written permission. The opinions expressed in articles are not necessarily those of the publisher. Information presented is compiled from sources believed to be accurate, however, the publisher assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions. Canadian Lawyer disclaims any warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or currency of the contents of this publication and disclaims all liability in respect of the results of any action taken or not taken in reliance upon information in this publication. Publications Mail Agreement #41261516 ISSN 0703-2129 ©2021 GST/HST Registration #799898465RC-0001 RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CANADIAN ADDRESS TO: CIRCULATION DEPARTMENT 317 Adelaide Street West, Suite 910, Toronto, ON M5V 1P9 RETOURNER TOUTE CORRESPONDANCE NE POUVANT ÉTRE LIVREÉ AU CANADA AU SERVICE DES PUBLICATIONS 317 Adelaide Street West, Suite 910, Toronto, ON M5V 1P9 Key Media Canada (Law) Ltd 317 Adelaide Street West, Suite 910 Toronto, ON M5V 1P9 tel: +1 416 644 8740 www.keymedia.com

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