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Verlyn Francis is an acknowledged leader in Dispute Resolution. She is a highly experienced in the adjudicative process and has drafted hundreds of decisions in Estates, Family, Civil, and Commercial disputes. An Ontario lawyers for over 20 years, she has been a mediator since 1999 and an arbitrator since 2009.In addition to her in-person practice, Ms. Francis has been using her technological expertise to conduct hearings by videoconference since 2015. She is well versed in statutory interpretation and the rules of natural justice. She is an arbitrator and mediator on the Global and General Commercial panels of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR).  Verlyn is also an arbitrator and mediator on the National Bar Association (NBA) ADR Panels. She is a  general panel arbitrator at Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and an adjudicator at the Toronto Licensing Tribunal, She has served as an adjudicator on several tribunals including the Social Security Tribunal of Canada (SST), and Ontario College Relations Commission / Education Relations Commission.A guiding voice on corporate governance and ethics for lawyers, arbitrators, and mediators, Verlyn has also taught arbitration, mediation, and negotiation up to the master’s level. She is a Professor of ADR at Centennial College, Toronto, Canada; visiting professor of Advanced Negotiation for Master of International Business students at La Salle EMCI in Lyon, France; and guest lecturer in the LL.M. Dispute Resolution Program at Osgoode Hall Law School. She also taught Ethics and Professional Responsibility to lawyer candidates for the Law Society of Ontario. Her ground-breaking scholarship on the link between culture and conflict places at her at forefront of the ADR profession. As the Culture and Diversity Specialist at Isiko Dispute Resolution Consultants, she trains and presents on conflict management. Ms. Francis holds a LL.M. (ADR) from Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto, Canada. She was certified as a mediator in 1999 by Family Mediation Canada and as an adjudicator in 2009 by the Society of Ontario Adjudicators and Regulators (SOAR). She is certified as an arbitrator by FINRA and received international commercial arbitration training from CIArb (Canada). She was called to the Ontario Bar in 1997 after graduating with an J.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1995. 

Verlyn is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) Canada Branch,  the ADR Institute of Canada, the ADR Institute of Ontario, the Society of Ontario Adjudicators and Regulators (SOAR), Law Society of Ontario, the American Bar Association (ABA), the National Bar Association (NBA), Canadian Association of Black Lawyers (CABL), the Black Female Lawyers Association, Women’s Law Association of Ontario, and Toronto Lawyers Association. 

Verlyn is committed to giving back to the community and has volunteered with numerous organizations. She is a member of the Board of Trustees, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), and served on the Clinical Quality Committee, Governance, and the Research Committee. She was a Member of the Board and the Director of Professional Development & Mentorship at CABL. She has served on the Board of the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) and was Chair of the Governance Committee. She was a member of the Board of the Toronto Board of Trade, and the Toronto Community Foundation. She served on the Board of the Osgoode Law School Alumni Association and was founding Chair of the Gold Key Awards Committee. She was also the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Harry Jerome Scholarship Fund

DecisionsPublications & Presentations

Selected DecisionsJ. R. v. Minister of Employment and Social Development P. v. Minister of Employment and Social Development R. v. Minister of Employment and Social Development L. v. Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development & Presentations Infusing Dispute Resolution Teaching and Training with Culture and Diversity (2018) 33:2 Ohio St. J. on Disp. Resol. 171 and Conflict in a Multicultural Teaching Environment (presentation to Annual Conference, Ontario Alliance of Black School Educators, Toronto, Canada, 20 April 2018).Teaching Dispute Resolution in a Multicultural Environment (2017) 26:2 Can Arb & Mediation J 34 in Clinical Care Conflict Management (presentation to Living Engaged and Actively with Pain (LEAP) Services, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, Canada, 9 November 2016.Designing Emotional and Psychological Support into Truth and Reconciliation Commissions (2016) 23 Willamette J. of Int’l Law & Disp Resol at 274. Shifting the Dispute Resolution Paradigm: Looking at Culture, Diversity and Power through the Lens of ‘Other’, Toronto 2014 Wills and Estates: Golden Nuggets for Sole Practitioners and Small Firm Lawyers (seminar delivered at the Law Society of Upper Canada, Toronto, November 2009) [unpublished]Anatomy of a Family Law Motion (paper delivered at Canadian Association of Black Lawyers/ Ontario Bar Association Symposium, Toronto, Canada; 2009) Looking Down the Road: Leadership for Canada’s Changing Communities, (contributor) Community Foundations of Canada and Calgary Community Foundation, Calgary, Canada; October 2006Imperatives of Political and Community Participation, Caribbean Roots, Canadian Branches (paper delivered at Antigua and Barbuda National Forum, Toronto, September 2006)Solutions to Black Youth Violence, (2006) Toronto Community Foundation, Toronto, CanadaThe Intersection of Children's Rights and Racial Equality, African Canadian Legal Clinic, Toronto, Canada, 2001.Discrimination Against Black Canadians in Employment: Historical and Public Policy Underpinnings, Toronto, 2001.The Intersection of Gender and Racial Discrimination, Osgoode Hall Law School, 1995Children and the Law, Toronto District School Board, Toronto, 1994In the Application of the Best Interest of the Child Test in Adoption, there must be a place for consideration of Race – National Association of Women and the Law, Ottawa, Canada, 1994. ISBN: 0-895996-01-5

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