85 episodes

Scholar and activist Julie Macfarlane talks with visionaries, social justice warriors, and legal system “disrupters” about their motivations and how their experiences have changed them – for better or for worse.

Jumping Off the Ivory Tower with Prof JulieMac National Self-Represented Litigants Project

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 13 Ratings

Scholar and activist Julie Macfarlane talks with visionaries, social justice warriors, and legal system “disrupters” about their motivations and how their experiences have changed them – for better or for worse.

    Can't Buy My Silence

    Can't Buy My Silence

    Our final episode for this season focuses on the campaign to ban the misuse of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) being led by Dr. Julie Macfarlane and Zelda Perkins.

    Named “Can’t Buy My Silence,” Julie and Zelda’s campaign aims to bring new law into effect in both Canada and the UK to stop victims being forced to exchange their own privacy for protecting their abuser in cases of harassment, discrimination, and bullying, and to stop employers (including schools, universities, and churches as well as both unionized and non-unionized workplaces) using NDAs to secretly “pass-the-trash” to other employers.

    Julie talks with Dayna about how she and Zelda met and planned the campaign, both motivated by their personal experiences of NDAs: Zelda with the notorious Harvey Weinstein, and Julie who saw a colleague terminated for harassment protected by an NDA (and a letter of recommendation) from the University of Windsor.

    Stacey Buchholzer, the campaign coordinator, closes out the podcast by reading from a selection of the many stories that have been submitted to the campaign, illustrating the trauma experienced from being first subjected to unfairness and misconduct, and then permanently silenced.

    The campaign website includes a lot of public legal information about NDAs. You can also listen to Julie’s conversation with Zelda from last season, before they launched their campaign, in which Zelda describes how she broke her NDA with Weinstein and brought this issue into public discussion, which she has continued ever since.

    In Other News: This week our In Other News Correspondent is Research Assistant Charlotte Sullivan. Charlotte discusses: a Toronto-based legal clinic’s recent challenge against caps on damages awarded in claims involving the Canadian Human Rights Act; and Chief Justice Jacques Fournier of the Québec Superior Court’s recent decision to step down from the bench at the age of 71, and some interesting comments he made regarding access to justice in the COVID-19 pandemic context.

    For related links and more on this episode visit our website: https://representingyourselfcanada.com/cant-buy-my-silence/

    Jumping Off the Ivory Tower is produced and hosted by Julie Macfarlane and Dayna Cornwall; production and editing by Brauntë Petric; Other News produced and hosted by Charlotte Sullivan; promotion by Moya McAlister and the NSRLP team.

    • 33 min
    Does Making Nice Make it Worse?

    Does Making Nice Make it Worse?

    In today’s episode, Julie talks to Bernie Mayer and Jackie Font-Guzmán about the ideas they explore in their new book, The Neutrality Trap: Disrupting and Connecting for Social Change (Wiley, 2022).

    Two long-time mediators and mediation teachers, Bernie and Jackie describe their growing disillusionment with the way mediation is sometimes offered to family and other litigants: as a panacea that will smooth over rough edges and produce an “agreement,” which will be able to resolve underlying differences. Bernie and Jackie both speak to their personal experience of conflicts that reflect larger societal power differences and systems, and reflect on the danger that a more superficial, “make nice” approach reinforces existing inequalities and injustices. Going behind the headlines (“he is a monster!” “she is impossible!”), while messy, uncomfortable, and often worse, can produce a more realistic path for moving forward, and allows each party to explore their own truth.

    Bernie Mayer was a founding partner of CDR Associates, and has provided conflict intervention for families, communities, universities, corporations, and governmental agencies throughout North America and internationally for over 35 years. Bernie is Emeritus Professor of Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, Creighton University. He has worked in child welfare, mental health, substance abuse treatment, and psychotherapy. His earlier books include: Beyond Neutrality, and The Conflict Paradox.

    Jackie Font-Guzmán is the inaugural Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Eastern Mennonite University. Previously she was professor of conflict and peacebuilding at Creighton University. Jackie has provided mediation, facilitation, and consulting services to many international and transnational organizations. She previously worked in law and health policy.

    In Other News: This week our In Other News Correspondent is Research Assistant Charlotte Sullivan. Charlotte discusses: a news release from the Department of Justice on advancing reconciliation through addressing the overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in the criminal justice system in Canada; and a recent access to justice study showing an exponential increase in dismissals of race-based cases by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

    For related links and more on this episode visit our website: https://representingyourselfcanada.com/does-making-nice-make-it-worse/

    Jumping Off the Ivory Tower is produced and hosted by Julie Macfarlane and Dayna Cornwall; production and editing by Brauntë Petric; Other News produced and hosted by Charlotte Sullivan; promotion by Moya McAlister and the NSRLP team.

    • 36 min
    You Drive the Bus - With a Coach in Your Corner

    You Drive the Bus - With a Coach in Your Corner

    The vast majority of self-represented litigants cannot afford full representation in legal services – and yet most of them are continuing to search for assistance that is affordable to them. In this episode, Julie speaks with Marcus Sixta, of CrossRoads Law, about his pioneering legal coaching practice, Coach My Case. Marcus is a leading innovator in the development of legal services that are tailored to client needs and pocket books, such as offering different tiers of assistance and working collaboratively to assess and meet needs. He believes in utilizing the skills of paralegals and lawyers, as well as a range of services, from procedural navigation, to issue identification, to hearings coaching.

    Leona Harvie, who provides the reflection in this episode, is a former self-represented litigant who now works as a divorce coach, providing support and legal information to family law clients. She can be found at letstalkdivorcecanada.com and on Instagram where her handle is letstalkdivorcecanada.

    NSRLP has been developing a National Directory of Professionals Assisting Self-Represented Litigants since 2016; it contains the names and details of professionals across the country who offer legal coaching.

    In Other News: This week our In Other News Correspondent is Research Assistant Charlotte Sullivan. This week Charlotte discusses: the Attorney General of British Columbia announcing new rules of procedure for the British Columbia Court of Appeal; a piece on parental relocation cases in family law; and the controversial Bill 96, recently passed by the National Assembly of Québec.

    For related links and more on this episode visit our website: https://representingyourselfcanada.com/you-drive-the-bus-with-a-coach-in-your-corner/

    Jumping Off the Ivory Tower is produced and hosted by Julie Macfarlane and Dayna Cornwall; production and editing by Brauntë Petric; Other News produced and hosted by Charlotte Sullivan; promotion by Moya McAlister and the NSRLP team.

    • 38 min
    Talking About Racism is Uncomfortable - And Necessary

    Talking About Racism is Uncomfortable - And Necessary

    Since the murder of George Floyd and the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement there has been a new focus on the development of anti-Black racism training, and education on the impact of racism on our lives, relationships, and beliefs.

    Moya McAlister and Siddika Jessa are both creating workshops and safe spaces for conversation and education on race and racism. In this episode, Julie asks them how they manage these (often) uncomfortable discussions and interactions in a way that deepens our understanding of our own assumptions and biases, and gives us all the chance to rethink and do better.

    Moya McAlister is Communications Manager for NSRLP. She is also Board Director of Black Women of Forward Action, a Windsor-based group that advocates for anti-Black racism initiatives at a community and municipal level, and supports Black women entrepreneurs and students. Moya was previously featured in our episode, “Living Black Lives.”

    Siddika Jessa has also previously taken part in the podcast, for the episode, “The Courage of Your Convictions,” when she described how some members of her community responded to her son’s same-sex marriage. Since then, Siddika has founded WiderLens, which delivers training workshops in the faith community, as well as the corporate and not-for-profit sectors. Wider Lens focuses on training in communication, emotional intelligence, anti-racism, and diversity.

    In Other News: This week our In Other News Correspondent is Research Assistant Shannon Meikle. This week Shannon discusses: the Ontario government’s plan to combine courthouses in North York, Etobicoke, and Scarborough; an update to the discussion surrounding the LSO’s ability to facilitate justice; and the Ontario Superior Court of Justice’s appointment of three new judges, all women.

    For related links and more on this episode visit our website: https://representingyourselfcanada.com/talking-about-racism-is-uncomfortable-and-necessary/

    Jumping Off the Ivory Tower is produced and hosted by Julie Macfarlane and Dayna Cornwall; production and editing by Brauntë Petric; Other News produced and hosted by Shannon Meikle; promotion by Moya McAlister and the NSRLP team.

    • 36 min
    NSRLP's New Captain

    NSRLP's New Captain

    This week Julie talks with our new Executive Director, Jennifer Leitch! You can read more about Jennifer on our website, including Moya McAlister’s blog interview with her. That post, as well as today’s episode, delves into why Jennifer made the radical career switch from commercial litigator with a big Bay Street law firm to Access to Justice advocate, and now Director of NSRLP. Jennifer expands on her thinking about the future, both for the legal system and for the NSRLP, and conveys a sense of urgency, practicality, and also, crucially, vision.

    Jennifer’s conversation with Julie is prefaced by comments from three SRLs (Jennifer Muller, Jeff Rose-Martland, and Karin Turkington) who describe why NSRLP is important, what qualities the Director needs, and what their challenges are likely to be.

    In Other News: This week our In Other News Correspondent is Research Assistant Shannon Meikle. This week Shannon discusses: a recent article calling for the LSO to be held publicly accountable for its actions, even if that means dissolution or reform; legislation recently passed in the Yukon seeking to improve outcomes for children, youth, and families involved with the child welfare system, as well as address the over-representation of Indigenous children and youth in care; and the province of Manitoba being awarded $1.6 million dollars in funding to implement provisions to make court documents in divorce proceedings available in both official languages.

    For related links and more on this episode visit our website: https://representingyourselfcanada.com/nsrlps-new-captain/

    Jumping Off the Ivory Tower is produced and hosted by Julie Macfarlane and Dayna Cornwall; production and editing by Brauntë Petric; Other News produced and hosted by Shannon Meikle; promotion by Moya McAlister and the NSRLP team.

    • 35 min
    Confronting Family Violence

    Confronting Family Violence

    Following the recent Ontario decision in Ahluwalia, which established a new tort of family violence, this episode explores the work of two women and two organizations working to try to protect victims of violence. Deepa Mattoo, Executive Director of the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic in Toronto, speaks to Julie about what the Clinic does to serve marginalized and vulnerable women and the range of services they offer to help rebuild lives, as well as her ideas for ways that an over-stretched system could work better and serve more people. Reflecting on Deepa’s interview, Humera Jabir of West Coast LEAF talks about her work on test case litigation and other strategies to try to expand support and legal assistance to those experiencing family violence, especially single parents.

    In Other News: This week our In Other News Correspondent is Research Assistant Shannon Meikle. This week Shannon discusses: new family law legislation from Nova Scotia, the Superior Court of Justice announcement about a partial in-person return to court hearings for family lawyers, and Chief Justice Richard Wagner’s statement that he’s “enormously preoccupied” with the access to justice issues that arise out of Canadians being forced to self-represent at the Supreme Court.

    For related links and more on this episode visit our website: https://representingyourselfcanada.com/confronting-family-violence/

    Jumping Off the Ivory Tower is produced and hosted by Julie Macfarlane and Dayna Cornwall; production and editing by Brauntë Petric; Other News produced and hosted by Shannon Meikle; promotion by Moya McAlister and the NSRLP team.

    • 29 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
13 Ratings

13 Ratings

Noel Semple ,

Essential listening...

... for anyone interested in access to justice. The best guests, the most insightful questions, the wittiest banter and wisecracks!

kjessa786 ,

Amazing

Thoughtful, insightful, interesting and real! If you’ve discovered this podcast by chance take a moment and pick any episode and have a listen. Prof Julie Mac does an incredible job bringing out real truths from her guests as she tackles some really difficult and engaging subjects!

Ashaines ,

Excellent Podcast

I thoroughly enjoying listening to this podcast. Very well produced. An excellent resource that law students, legal professionals, and self-represented litigants can find helpful and informative.

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