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In the late 1990’s, as a young lawyer from a small town, with a small caseload, mediations (which were just starting) and judicial settlement conferences (JSC’s) put me at a disadvantage when up against senior defense lawyers.


The evidence was over-shadowed by my adversaries’ rapports and history with the judges at the JSC’s.  The mediators at the time pushed down the path of least resistance – me and my client. Under the old rules and up against the old school, I could not get trial dates on the one hand, and on the other could not settle cases where the offers were way below the strike zone.


I was caught between the devil of ADR and the deep blue sea of trying to get trial dates and then bringing every case to within days of trial or going to trial. Craig Garson came along with the life raft.


That raft rescued me and my clients. Craig also has saved defense lawyers and insurers time and money. It is not an exaggeration to state that Craig has single-handedly improved the justice systems in Atlantic Canada by expediting cases to a just outcome.


Over the years I have encountered some stand out judges and mediators who gave everybody equal concern and respect. Craig Garson is on the top of that list. Craig has mediated over 500 cases for lawyers at MacGillivray law. He is a peacemaker. He is peaceable, gentle but firm, open to reason, merciful, impartial, sincere, willing to be patient and always willing to go the extra mile. With a career in the trenches of trial advocacy, he also knows the landscape better than anyone.


Craig also never wastes time. He gets to the crux of the issue without marring the parties into draining pitfalls of positional debates.


As MacGillivray Law grew so did the complexity and seriousness of the cases. The mediations completed by Craig ranged from routine personal injury cases, to very serious and complex cases often involving multiple accidents and multiple parties. I have participated in mediations with Craig in all provinces of Atlantic Canada.


Craig arrives prepared, he treats counsel and clients with respect, and he works tirelessly to settle the file.  


Craig builds rapport with the lawyers and clients that enables him to be critical or firm without alienating one side. He finds the solution. All sides and clients are happy with the process and feel that they have been heard and treated respectfully.  Often nobody is happy with the settlement, which they say is the sign of a good outcome. Craig will not only find the common ground, he will clear the landing and guide the parties to this spot.

Jamie MacGillivray

MacGillivray Law

New Glasgow, Nova Scotia

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