John-Paul E Boyd, AOCA, MA, LLB, is a family law arbitrator, family law mediator and parenting coordinator. He is the principal of John-Paul Boyd Arbitration Chambers, providing services throughout all of Alberta and British Columbia, Canada, and counsel to the preeminent Calgary family law firm, Wise Scheible Barkauskas. He is a senior family law lawyer nationally known for his big-picture approach to family justice issues, contributions to public and professional legal education on family law, and special expertise in disputes concerning parenting, support and jurisdictional issues.
John-Paul practiced family law in Vancouver for 14 years before joining the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family, a non-profit organization affiliated with the University of Calgary, as its executive director in 2013. He took his training as a mediator in 2005, as a parenting coordinator in 2007, as an arbitrator in 2011 and as a collaborative practitioner in 2012. John-Paul has particular interests in law and procedural reform, children's rights and involvement in justice processes, the impact of parental conflict on children, access to family justice and the psychology of separation and divorce.
John-Paul is a fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers, a member of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, the International Society of Family Law and the ADR Institute of Canada, and a member-at-large of the executive committee of the Canadian Bar Association's National Child & Youth Law Section. He has served on the editorial board of the British Columbia Continuing Legal Education Society's Family Practice Manual and the Provincial Court of British Columbia's Family Law Rules Committee. John-Paul was a founding director of the BC Hear the Child Society, the BC Parenting Coordinators Roster Society and the Family Law Arbitrators Group Society in Vancouver.
John-Paul is the founding author of the acclaimed public legal education wikibook JP Boyd on Family Law and its former companion blog, the first legal blog cited in a Canadian court judgment. His other written work has been published by the UBC Law Review, Canadian Family Law Quarterly, the International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family, the Journal of International Aging, Law and Policy, the federal Department of Justice, the National Judicial Institute, the Nova Scotia Department of Justice and The Lawyer's Daily. The research reports and studies he authored while at the research institute are available through the University of Calgary Library. He is a member of the advisory board of the Canadian Journal of Family Law and a juror of the Walter Owen Book Prize, awarded by the Canadian Foundation for Legal Research, and the Allan Falconer Memorial Essay Contest, awarded by the Canadian Journal of Family Law.
John-Paul is a frequent speaker on family law topics for the National Judicial Institute, the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, the National Family Law Program, the Legal Education Society of Alberta, the Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia and the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia. John-Paul also taught the upper-year family law course at the University of Calgary.
John-Paul was listed by Best Lawyers, a peer-reviewed legal directory, from 2010 until 2014, when he joined the research institute, and is a recipient of the Canadian Bar Association's National Pro Bono Service Award, the UBC Law Alumni Association's Outstanding Young Alumnus Award, the Harry Rankin QC Pro Bono Award from the CBA British Columbia and the Distinguished Service Award from the CBA Alberta and the Law Society of Alberta. In a 2012 report of the BC Public Legal Education and Information Working Group, John-Paul, then working as a lawyer in private practice, was identified as one of the six major providers of public legal education on family law in British Columbia, along with the Legal Services Society, the CBA, the British Columbia Ministry of Justice, the University of Victoria Law Centre and the Justice Education Society of BC.
John-Paul is consulted by provincial governments and the federal government on family law matters and legislative and procedural reforms. He was a member of the British Columbia Attorney General's Family Law Act Advisory Group and Family Relations Act Review Advisory Committee, and has given evidence as an expert on family law issues to the Canadian Senate's Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. He presently serves on the Advisory Group on Public Legal Education and Information for Bill C-78 for the federal Department of Justice and the Law Society of British Columbia's Licensed Paralegal Task Force.
John-Paul has been interviewed for and quoted in articles and editorials appearing in publications and websites including The Walrus, The Globe and Mail, CBC News, CTV News, the National Post, Global News, Maclean's, the Calgary Herald, the Edmonton Journal, the Vancouver Sun, the Victoria Times Colonist, the Toronto Star, the Canadian Bar Association's National Magazine, The Lawyer's Daily, Law Times and Canadian Lawyer magazine. He appears frequently on radio and television on matters related to family justice. His most recent media appearances include CBC's Calgary Eyeopener, Global National, 980 CKNW, CBC's Alberta at Noon, CPAC, NewsTalk 770, 660 NEWS, CBC's Maritime Noon, CBC's The National, CBC's The Current, CBC's The 180 and the TVO podcast Word Bomb, discussing issues such as the proposed amendments to the Divorce Act, polyamorous relationships and the law, the good divorce, resolving legal disputes out of court, legislative reforms, successfully parenting apart, alienated and estranged children, litigants without lawyers and parenting coordination.
John-Paul now provides mediation, arbitration, med-arb and parenting coordination services for family law disputes in Alberta and British Columbia. John-Paul also provides independent legal advice on family law agreements as well as certain children's legal services, including preparing non-evaluative views of the child reports, giving independent legal advice where children's informed consent is required and drafting children's affidavits. His goal in all family law disputes is to help the parties resolve their disagreements quickly and fairly, and in a way that takes into account the impact that their dispute may have on any children, minimizes conflict and encourages cooperation between the parties, and promotes the future functioning of the separated family. For more information, visit the website of John-Paul's law firm, John-Paul Boyd Arbitration Chambers.
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