I’m Ted Dueck, lawyer and mediator/arbitrator. I firmly believe that family law and estate disputes benefit from the assistance of an impartial and caring third party to resolve cases outside of court.
I have practiced family law and civil litigation for over 41 years, have conducted many trials, and have argued cases at all levels of Ontario’s courts. I have also trained extensively as a mediator and have worked in that field for many years. That experience has taught me that court should always be your last resort, when all other methods of resolving a dispute fail.
People often experience limitations and frustrations in the courts, particularly when caught up in disputes that have significant relationship and emotional components. Family Law issues such as separation, divorce, custody, access and support, as well as Estate Disputes between family members and relatives of a deceased person, both feature fractured relationships and a grieving process.
Relationship breakdown is a difficult experience at the best of times. Trying to resolve legal issues in the midst of that compounds the challenge of the situation and does not leave people in the frame of mind to appropriately resolve family law or estate conflicts.
Court processes and rules of procedure, including many documents, multiple appearances and frequent delays, and the high costs caused by the legal system only magnify the disconnect felt by persons who are experiencing relational conflict.
With over four decades of courtroom experience, my focus has always been on trying to encourage clients to settle their cases away from the courts as much as possible. Helping clients understand the issues they are facing, and looking for avenues to negotiate a resolution is more constructive.
I became interested in alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes early in my career, and began training and working occasionally as a mediator in the early 1990’s. I subsequently completed a Certificate Program in Dispute Resolution at York University in 1998 and a Master of Laws degree in ADR at Osgoode Hall in 2001. I was also awarded a Chartered Mediator (C.Med) designation by the ADR Institute in 2001.
Since then, I have mediated a wide variety of disputes, including many family law and estate disputes, personal injury cases and a variety of other matters, as a side-line to my regular litigation practice. I have now decided to use those skills to focus on serving the public and the legal community as a mediator and arbitrator of Family Law and Estate disputes.
On a personal note, I am a husband, a father, a step-father and a grandfather. I have been practicing law since 1979. I have served as a Trustee of the Waterloo Region Law Association, as well as having been a board member, and board chair person, for several charitable organizations.
I am a member of various legal organizations and was one of the original founding members of the Collaborative Family Law Association of Waterloo Region (now called best4all). I have delivered courses in negotiation and dispute resolution in a variety of settings, and I particularly enjoy the “teaching” or “coaching” aspect of being a lawyer and mediator, assisting clients to understand the issues and principles behind the legal problem they are experiencing.