Dispute Settlement: Alternatives to Resolving Disputes

Students are introduced to an analysis of the dispute resolution continuum and will be required to identify where and how, through the different processes, dispute resolution is achieved. Students will gain an appreciation of the historical development and current application of various dispute resolution processes, including litigation, arbitration, negotiation, and mediation. The process of litigation as applicable to the adversarial system of justice will be examined. The seminar focuses on an under-standing of the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to dispute resolution as well as the appropriateness of when to use them. Students will also gain a
practical understanding of the theoretical aspects of certain processes available for resolving disputes within the legal system as a applicable to the Province of Ontario, including litigation and methods of alternative dispute resolution including negotiation and mediation. The seminar will provide an opportunity to develop and practice some of the techniques of dispute resolution under the supervision of members of academic staff.

Teaching methods include: lectures (Socratic and otherwise), facilitated class discussions, interactive small seminar and larger group exercises.

Dispute Settlement: Alternatives to Resolving Disputes

Students are introduced to an analysis of the dispute resolution continuum and will be required to identify where and how, through the different processes, dispute resolution is achieved. Students will gain an appreciation of the historical development and current application of various dispute resolution processes, including litigation, arbitration, negotiation, and mediation. The process of litigation as applicable to the adversarial system of justice will be examined. The seminar focuses on an under-standing of the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to dispute resolution as well as the appropriateness of when to use them. Students will also gain a
practical understanding of the theoretical aspects of certain processes available for resolving disputes within the legal system as a applicable to the Province of Ontario, including litigation and methods of alternative dispute resolution including negotiation and mediation. The seminar will provide an opportunity to develop and practice some of the techniques of dispute resolution under the supervision of members of academic staff.

Teaching methods include: lectures (Socratic and otherwise), facilitated class discussions, interactive small seminar and larger group exercises.

Children And The Law

This seminar will examine both theoretical and practical aspects of child protection law. The theoretical component will include an analysis of family autonomy in the face of state intervention and the best interests of children in a risk-driven protection environment as opposed to the conventional benefits-driven best interests tests applied in private custody cases. We will explore Charter implications of various aspects of child protection law throughout the seminar, as well as the inter-disciplinary nature of child protection work.
 
The practical component will provide students with the opportunity to examine child protection issues through case studies and to engage in case preparation for selected fact patterns. Both theoretical and practical components will examine tactical, ethical and policy questions throughout the seminar.  

Managing Family Law Cases

This seminar will focus on simulated family law cases. As “counsel” for these cases, students will examine and apply legal principles, tactical, ethical and policy considerations, and rules of practice and professional responsibility to complete tasks and resolve problems that arise in the day to day work of family law practice. Throughout the seminar, students will be exposed to the interdisciplinary nature of family law. Work with complex fact patterns will assist students to develop advanced analytical skills, client management skills and to understand how to work effectively with professionals such as mental health experts and business valuators to achieve optimal outcomes for clients. Students will engage in the drafting of documents and participate in mock courtroom appearances. Classes will be in-person.

Theory and Practice of Mediation

Theory and Practice of Mediation offers students an interactive opportunity to develop an understanding of the utility and impact of mediation within the context of the dispute resolution spectrum. Students will gain knowledge through lecture, group discussions, simulations, placements in the Toronto Small Claims Court (circumstances permitting), and final evaluated mediations. As well, the seminar provides an opportunity for students to undertake a paper assignment to examine both theoretical and practical issues discussed during the term. Students will be engaged in a hands-on learning opportunity to explore negotiation, mediation styles and tactics, while being mindful of ethics and professional obligations.

Lawyer as Negotiator

Law schools have traditionally prepared lawyers for litigation and the courts, although in practice lawyers spend much of their time resolving disputes through forms of dispute resolution, including negotiation and mediation. Lawyer as Negotiation is designed to familiarize students with representative negotiation theory and practice, and specifically how theory informs the development of bargaining strategy in a legal setting. Students will attend weekly lectures, conduct negotiation simulations, and participate in small group discussions and reflections which will introduce and critique the principles of representative negotiation. Students will be expected to prepare detailed negotiation plans for their weekly negotiations as well as a final negotiation held at the end of the semester. Students will be coached and critiqued by dispute resolution practitioners throughout the year and will be encouraged to reflect on and discuss their weekly
negotiations in small working groups of either 14 or 16 students. The first half of the course will introduce students to distributive and integrative bargaining techniques as well as the importance of developing a negotiation strategy and a detailed plan for each negotiation. The second half of the course will focus on the importance of power, gender, culture, ethics, and emotions, among other issues, in representative negotiations.

Health Law

This seminar explores the dynamic and challenging field of health law, with a focus on practical issues.  The course provides a survey of the legal framework and policy considerations underlying the cornerstone areas of health law, including: consent to treatment; mental capacity and substitute decision-making; professional regulation and governance; medical malpractice; emergency management and civil protection; and health information privacy. Practical and topical issues will be explored in the areas of: elder law (issues in long-term care facilities, retirement homes); the law of medical assistance in dying in Canada; human rights in health care; hospitals and health care facilities (including physician privileges, employment issues and tensions between administrators, healthcare professionals and other stakeholders); pandemic and emergency management; reproductive health and surrogacy; and research ethics.  

Typical seminars will cover substantive law including case law and statutes, as well as policy issues and examples of applications in practice. Students are expected to actively participate via class discussion and a class presentation. Guest speakers will provide unique perspectives on particular topics.  Students will be asked to attend (in person or through electronic means) a hearing in the health law field and to reflect on that proceeding in a midterm written paper.  Through readings, class discussion and assignments, students will gain a foundation for a dedicated health law practice and an analytical framework for addressing health law issues as they arise in other practice areas.

Trusts

Trust law is an important legal discipline in its own right; however, as trusts can appear in other areas of law, including family law, corporate law, real estate, and estate planning and litigation, having a foundational knowledge of trusts can be of assistance to a lawyer no matter what area of law they practice. This course seeks to provide an understanding not only of what a trust is and how a trust is created, but also explore the legal relationship between the trustee, the beneficiary, and the property that is held in trust. The topics to be covered include the legal nature of trusts and how they are created, the reasons why trusts are created or come into existence by operation of law, the various kinds of trusts, including express trusts, purpose trusts, constructive trusts, and resulting trusts, as well as the legal relationship between the trustee and the beneficiaries, and the corresponding duties of the trustee and the rights the beneficiaries may exercise. The real-world use of trusts, and the implications and intersectionality of trusts with other areas of law, will be covered if time permits.

Taxation Law

This course introduces the fundamental principles of the Canadian federal income tax system. We will focus on building the vocabulary of taxation and exploring the social, political, and economic factors that shape the development of the law. By the end of the course, students should understand why societies tax, who and what they tax, and how they do so; be familiar with the general structure and principles of the Canadian federal income tax system; and develop skills in close, critical reading and interpretation of primary and secondary legal sources.

The central focus of the course is on the tax principles for the treatment of revenue, losses, and expenses earned or incurred by individuals. We will further discuss general tax policy issues and situate the income tax within the broader Canadian tax system. To ensure students obtain a practical understanding of tax law, the course will also introduce the tax administration and dispute resolution frameworks.

Throughout the course, students will have the opportunity to build their skills in interpreting complex statutes and applying tax rules to facts. The course uses a combination of lectures, videos, short exercises, and problems for discussion, which will provide you with several opportunities for active learning.

For those of you who fear numbers, take heart. This course focuses on the legal rules underlying our income tax system, not on mathematics. Any math used in class or tested on the exam is limited to simple computation exercises to illustrate tax rules and their application.

Trusts

This course will provide a survey of key issues relating to trusts and trustees. The topics to be covered include: the juridical nature of the trust as a distinctive legal relationship, the reasons for which trusts are established (or come into existence by operation of law), the means by which trusts are established, the different species of trusts, including express trusts, purpose trusts, constructive trusts and resulting trusts, and issues relating to trustee duties.