Alternative Dispute Resolution

Blair Graham is an Alternative Dispute Resolution professional in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He specializes in resolving conflicts in a mutually agreeable manner without utilizing the traditional court processes.
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A. Blair Graham, KC.

What is Alternative Dispute Resolution?

Alternative Dispute Resolution refers to ways of resolving conflicts other than the traditional Court processes. It includes Mediation and Arbitration.


Parties select an impartial third party mediator to assist them in reaching an agreement. The mediator ensures that communication between the parties is fair and honest and can assist by clarifying issues and identifying concerns. A mediator may provide legal analysis but will not provide legal advice.

Mediators do not issue orders or make determinations.


Arbitration is a more formal process than mediation but simpler and less formal than court. Parties select an independent third party to hear evidence from the parties themselves and witnesses and the arbitrator then provides a decision based on that evidence and the applicable law.

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About A. Blair Graham, KC.

Blair was called to the Bar of Manitoba in 1978. After practising at two other Winnipeg law firms he joined Thompson Dorfman Sweatman as a partner in 1987.

Blair has been a Vice-Chair of the Manitoba Labour Board since 2006 and has been selected by his peers on several occasions to be included in the Best lawyers in Canada in the area of Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Blair was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1992. In 2004 he was inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. In 2020 he became a member of the Canadian Academy of Distinguished Neutrals.

Between 1978 and 1997, his practice was focused primarily in the areas of general civil litigation (contractual claims and tortious disputes) and administrative law, with an emphasis on the regulation of various professions.

Blair’s Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) practice commenced in 1997, when he began to be selected as an arbitrator in labour relations matters, primarily in grievance arbitrations. Over the years the ADR component of Blair’s practice grew significantly both in the field of labour relations and in relation to various types of civil and commercial disputes.

Blair is currently active as both an arbitrator and mediator in the labour relations field and with respect to civil disputes including negligence, breach of contract, product liability, disability insurance, estate matters, construction claims, shareholder disputes and lease disputes.

Blair withdrew from the firm of Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP in July 2021 and is limiting his practice to Alternate Dispute Resolution as an arbitrator and mediator in relation to both labour relations matters and all types of civil and commercial disputes.

Three Advantages of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Process

1. If done properly an Alternative Dispute Resolution process, whether mediation or arbitration, will usually provide a quicker less expensive resolution to a dispute than traditional court processes.
2. Alternative Dispute Resolution enables the parties themselves to design the details of the process whereby the dispute will be resolved. Depending on the nature of the dispute, the ADR process may or may not include the disclosure and production of relevant background documents and other materials, the pre-hearing oral examination of parties and/or witnesses, the time periods in which those are to occur, and the scheduling of the mediation or arbitration hearing.
3. Alternative Dispute Resolution enables the parties themselves to select the individual who will act as the mediator or arbitrator. The parties will have the ability to select an individual who they believe has the knowledge, experience, skill and temperament required to resolve the dispute.

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