Focus On

New arbitrators and mediators association launched in Canada

Tuesday, September 15, 2020 @ 12:44 PM | By John Chunn

The National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals (NADN), an American association for experienced mediators and arbitrators, has expanded into Canada with a new sister organization.

According to an NADN news release, the Canadian Academy of Distinguished Neutrals (CADN) is a new national association whose membership consists of mediators and arbitrators distinguished by their hands-on experience in the field of civil and commercial conflict resolution. Membership to the academy is by invitation only, with a strict peer nomination and extensive client interview vetting procedure to ensure that only the top 10 per cent of qualifying alternative dispute resolution (ADR) practitioners in any province are invited to join the roster.

Over an eight-month period, over 600 litigation lawyers across Canada were interviewed by CADN’s research staff as to preferred local mediators and arbitrators. This data allowed the academy to identify the most widely acceptable neutrals in each province. Finally, an executive committee of 20 respected Canadian ADR professionals cast peer votes, assisting the academy’s executive staff to narrow the pool further.

The academy’s newly launched national database allows litigators and support staff access to a free roster of over 160 experienced ADR professionals, charging no referral or administration fees. The academy is funded entirely by member dues, providing its database to the legal community at no charge. In additional to the national database, CADN has created provincial chapter sites, for ease of use:,, and

Visitors are able to quickly find a suitable neutral by identifying their preferred region, case expertise or other practice preferences. Generally, though, litigators already have their “go-to list” of preferred mediators that they’ve worked with in the past, often in the local area — and it’s here that the academy database can assist with expedited scheduling. A majority of its members post their Availability Calendars online daily, allowing visitors to “call-or-click” to make direct contact with these neutrals and their staff, avoiding scheduling phone tag.

“Since the launch in 2008 of our parent U.S. association,, we’ve heard from many hundreds of litigators and staff, saying how useful they find the database, particularly our online scheduling tools,” said Darren Lee, executive director of both CADN and NADN. “We’ve made it very easy for visitors to reserve appointments with their preferred resolution experts. More than 70,000 lawyers, counsel and legal staff have scheduled over half a million cases online with our U.S. members over the last decade — and we’re excited to now provide this free resource to the Canadian legal community.”