What We Do


Training

The Emerald Group offers alternate dispute resolution (ADR) training to lawyers, litigants, accountants, businesses and individuals.

ADR training for lawyers consists of practice mediations or arbitrations usually based on a specific client's actual fact situation. This training permits lawyers and/or their clients to familiarize themselves with ADR procedures and practice presenting the facts and details of their case in front of a real ADR specialist within an actual controlled mediation or arbitration setting.

These practice sessions are extremely valuable for both lawyers and their clients. Lawyers unfamiliar with the ADR process obtain practical experience and are able to practice the presentation of actual factual situations. Through observation of their clients during the ADR sessions, lawyers are able to determine the strengths and weaknesses of their case along with the strengths and weaknesses of their clients’ presentation skills. Practice sessions are invaluable for clients in reducing stress and for polishing presentation skills. Many lawyers find that a client is more open to accepting a beneficial settlement position following a practice ADR session.

Following the practice session the ADR specialist will debrief the participants and provide tips and commentary on both presentation skills and the strengths and weaknesses of the factual position.


BUSINESS TRAINING

ADR training for business focuses primarily on training existing staff to set up dispute resolution systems that are self sustaining within the business. Many larger businesses have a unionized workplace. Within the constructs of the collective agreement, there is always a provision for resolution of contract disputes through a grievance procedure. The difficulty with the grievance procedure is that it is generally rigid, time-consuming, costly and often unsatisfying for both union and management staff.

The Emerald Group provides training to businesses of any size. This training enables an ADR system to be quickly established to operate along side a grievance procedure. An ADR system is not set up to take the place of health and safety committees or any established grievance procedure. An ADR system is established to provide a forum for all of the issues that arise in the workplace which are normally outside the jurisdiction of the grievance procedure or the health and safety committee. ADR systems are particularly valuable in growing, non-union businesses for resolution of staff issues in a consistent manner and to reduce management time spent on those issues.

Human resource departments report that a large number of items that seriously affect morale and cannot easily fit within the grievance procedure are subject to negotiation on the daily basis between staff and management. For example decisions are often required concerning relationships between employees, training issues, working conditions, workplace morale, installation of new equipment, mergers and acquisitions or downsizing.

The Emerald Group will provide trainers with years of business experience who will work with union and management staff to set up an ADR system that is both functional and self sustaining. The Emerald Group is also available to work with existing or new ADR systems as a facilitator until the business is able to maintain the ADR system alone.

Many of our clients report significant decreases in the number of grievances, the severity of grievances and the time spent to resolve grievances following the establishment of an ADR system. Many of our clients report a significant improvement in employee morale, productivity and noticeable cost savings following the establishment of an ADR system.