Monday, 27 June 2022

My First Mediation


As a student at MB, I am given the opportunity to attend “field trips,” which allows me to attend pretrial conferences, discoveries, and mediations.

"Recently, I attended my first “field trip” which was a mediation."

During my first two years of law school, I participated in numerous moot competitions. However, unlike a moot competition which consists of a hypothetical scenario, this mediation consisted of facts and parties who are directly affected by the outcome of the case. I didn’t know what to expect from the mediation or how the disputing parties would work together to reach a resolution. What I did know going into the mediation is that it would involve a mediator (a neutral third party) who helps facilitate communication between the opposing parties with the hope of ultimately reaching a settlement that is beneficial for all parties involved.

Going into the mediation, I was asked to review the mediation briefs of the plaintiff and defendant. This was a helpful exercise in preparation for my attendance, as it gave me a glimpse into how each side was going to present their case on the day of the mediation.

The virtual mediation began with the mediator exchanging pleasantries with counsel. Despite the adversarial nature of litigation, counsel was friendly with one another and engaged in small talk, which is not what I had expected.

Then the mediator gave an opening statement to provide an overview of the mediation process. The plaintiff and defendant’s counsel then each presented their case. It was captivating to observe each side's persuasive oral advocacy skills when presenting their case.

After opening statements were heard, we were off to the races. The mediator helped facilitate the exchange of settlement offers between the plaintiff and defendant. It was great being able to observe counsel strategize and engage in various negotiation techniques, which helped me realize that there is an art to negotiation.

The informal nature of mediation allowed the disputing parties to exchange settlement offers confidentially, which meant that any settlement discussions at mediation would remain confidential and cannot be shared at trial. This proved to be highly beneficial as it allowed both parties to negotiate settlement offers that they otherwise might not be open to.

In the end, although the parties were making progress, there were several issues still in dispute with respect to damages and liability. Accordingly, it was difficult for the parties to reach a settlement.

While this mediation started off as an opportunity to take notes and absorb as much knowledge as I could, it quickly turned into an opportunity where I am now involved in the next steps of the file. Overall, the mediation was a fantastic experience and I’m excited to attend many more “field trips” this summer and learn as much as I can.

by Chanpreet S.

Monday, 20 June 2022

What's happened so far: the first few weeks...


Image  from Pixabay

The transition from student to practitioner can be daunting. So, what are some of the things I’ve encountered in the few weeks since beginning my summer at MB? As a student at a litigation boutique, my day-to-day work typically involves assisting with preparing various court documents and legal research. From the day the students began working on files after our orientation...

"I was immediately immersed in interesting files and provided meaningful and essential work to move a file forward."


Whether it be affidavits, motions, briefs or research memos, we always walk through the matter with the lawyer assigning the task through a call or conference. This is imperative because, as students, it’s essential we understand what’s expected of us. It also allows us an opportunity to ask as many questions as we need to be able to tackle the assignment. And when I say, “as many questions as we need,” I mean it. The culture at MB is one of support and collaboration. This means that the lawyers understand that as much as we are there to aid with matters, they are there to guide us in becoming expert litigators.

In addition to the meaningful assignments, I’ve had the opportunity to attend “field trips.” These field trips were attending discoveries and an arbitration. These attendances, which started as an opportunity to take notes and be a sponge through observing varying styles of oral advocacy and negotiation techniques, quickly evolved into being involved in the matter through exciting follow-up assignments.

Though it has only been a few weeks, they have been rewarding and full of learning. I don’t expect that to change any time soon.

by Arjun Raju

Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Initial Summer Student Experience: Here’s to Growth!


Aside from the excitement I had prior to starting as a Summer Student, I was unsure of what to expect. Will I enjoy the work? What will my colleagues be like? Will I have the necessary assistance if required? From my research of the firm, I knew I’d likely grow as both a student of the law and as an individual but I was uncertain about what that growth would entail.  

"Although my time with MB has only recently begun, I feel privileged to comment on my orientation experience."

Laying the framework for what to expect going in, I was happy to receive an orientation schedule as well as helpful aids. Our orientation was virtual, and there are plans to eventually integrate into the office. Throughout our orientation week, various firm members presented different aspects of the litigation process we’d need to familiarize ourselves with. This included handling defences, motions, subrogation, and small claims files. We also learned about firm-specific processes that law school does not teach. Questions were highly encouraged. So when the week was over, I was relieved that many of my original questions were answered. 

Along with expectations, a stable structure for receiving assignments was also laid out. MB maintains a 3-prong approach to work distribution. Assignments can be obtained by 

  1. Receiving an e-mail through the Summer Student server on a rotational basis; 
  2. Inquiring about work in areas of interest; and 
  3. Being specifically requested to take on a task. 

My first assignment was to draft a summary of a plaintiff’s productions in preparation for discovery. My second was to obtain a list of undertakings from the insured following discovery. I have also done some research, and most recently, I drafted a statement of claim. My next assignment is to review surveillance footage and reports on another matter (how cool!) I have quickly realized that assignments will vary depending on the type of file it is, expanding my overall range. A more prominent realization is that as a Summer Student, I am being trusted to handle key aspects of real-life litigation files. To say this is gratifying would be an understatement. As a future litigator, I’m thankful for the ability to further enhance my toolbox and grow.

On that note, I am happy to advise that I have only been “on the floor” for a week and I’ve already attended a two-day discovery, and have an arbitration scheduled for this week and a pre-trial at the end of the month.

Unsurprisingly, the journey of a law student is daunting at various stages. But I realize not knowing things is okay. There is no benefit to placing a perfectionist burden on myself. The most skilled, successful lawyers ask questions and endlessly learn from others. It is consistency along with curiosity and eagerness to learn that matters in the long run.

I'm eagerly looking forward to what’s to come. Here's to growth!

by Alan M.