John-Paul E. Boyd, KC
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John-Paul Boyd
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John-Paul Boyd Arbitration Chambers
service area alberta and british columbia · canada
telephone +1.403.454.8091
JP Boyd on Family Law
Courthouse Libraries British Columbia
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John-Paul E. Boyd, KC

John-Paul E. Boyd, KC is an accredited family law arbitrator, family law mediator and parenting coordinator. He is the principal of John-Paul Boyd Arbitration Chambers and counsel to the preeminent Calgary family law firm, Wise Scheible Barkauskas. He is a senior family law lawyer nationally known for his big-picture approach to family justice issues, contributions to public and professional legal education on family law, and special expertise in disputes concerning parenting, support and jurisdictional issues.

John-Paul practiced family law in Vancouver for 14 years before joining the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family at the University of Calgary as executive director in 2013. He returned to private practice in 2018 and was appointed Queen's Counsel, now King's Counsel, in 2019. He took his training as a mediator in 2005, as a parenting coordinator in 2006 and 2007, as an arbitrator in 2011, and as a collaborative practitioner in 2012. John-Paul has particular interests in law and procedural reform, public legal education, children's rights and involvement in justice processes, the impact of parental conflict on children, access to family justice, and the psychological aspects of relationship breakdown and parenting after separation.

John-Paul is a practicing member of the law societies of Alberta and British Columbia. He is also a member of the ADR Institute of Canada and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. John-Paul is a former fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers, and was a founding director of the BC Hear the Child Society and the BC Parenting Coordinators Roster Society.

John-Paul is the founding author of the acclaimed public legal education resource JP Boyd on Family Law, published in its fourth edition in 2024, and its former companion blog, the first legal blog cited in a Canadian court judgment. His other written work has been published by academic journals including the UBC Law Review, Canadian Family Law Quarterly, the Canadian Journal of Family Law, the International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family and the International Family Law Journal, by the federal Department of Justice, the National Judicial Institute and the Nova Scotia Department of Justice, and by The Lawyer's Daily, The Advocate and the online legal magazine Slaw. Many of the research reports and studies he authored while at the research institute are available from the University of Calgary Library.

The citation for the Clawbie Award for Best Access to Justice Resource given to JP Boyd on Family Law by the Canadian Law Blog Awards in 2019 says this:

"This Clicklaw Wikibook is a testament to the power of collaboration and plain language open legal information, and should be considered a model for other projects. This comprehensive and wildly popular one-stop-family-law-shop was created by legal web pioneer J.P. Boyd, QC and evolved into its wikibook format in 2012. Boyd and Megan Ellis, QC now oversee the volunteer editor pairs who maintain the wikibook."

The Canadian Legal Information Institute has published a curated selection of John-Paul's editorial columns on family law, access to justice, law reform and alternative dispute resolution for Slaw. Browse or download the ebook John-Paul Boyd: Selected Slaw columns from 2014 to 2020 from CanLII.

John-Paul is a member of the advisory board of the Canadian Journal of Family Law. He is a juror of the Walter Owen Book Prize, awarded by the Canadian Foundation for Legal Research, and the Allan Falconer Memorial Essay Contest, awarded by the Canadian Journal of Family Law.

John-Paul has been a frequent speaker on family law topics for the National Judicial Institute, the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, the National Family Law Program, the Canadian Bar Association, the Legal Education Society of Alberta, the Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia and the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia. John-Paul has also taught the upper-year family law course at the University of Calgary and guest lectured at the University of Victoria, UBC, University of Alberta, University of Saskatchewan, Lakehead University and Nirma University faculties of law.

Lawyers attending one of John-Paul's more recent presentations, on children who are reluctant to visit a parent after separation, said this about his presentation:

  • any presentation by JP is a treat
  • great presentation
  • learn something new whenever JP presents
  • as a presenter is awesome and precise
  • comprehensive and engaging
  • excellent as usual
  • very informative and makes you think of things in a different way

Lawyers attending a two-day course organized and chaired by John-Paul, on the challenging intersections between family law and psychology, said this about the course:

  • every topic was extremely informative
  • one of the best continuing legal education courses I've attended, extremely useful and informative for my area of practice
  • each of the topics was valuable because they provide me with a deeper understanding of the complexities of family law
  • the time management for each topic was perfect and provided an opportunity to listen to the presenters while then having an opportunity to engage in questions and discussions
  • well organized, appreciated the wide range of speakers, the papers were excellent

Lawyers participating in a recent webinar on practising family law in the age of COVID-19 described the webinar as "excellent, concise and relevant" and "informative and useful." One lawyer commented:

"Mr. Boyd is clearly very well informed and current in his knowledge and experience in this turbulent topic area and delivered a masterful lecture of tremendous immediate importance to family law counsel. Thank you."

John-Paul worked with two senior family law lawyers, Lawrence Pinsky of Taylor McCaffrey in Winnipeg and Lorne Wolfson of Torkin Manes in Toronto, to develop and present the National Family Law Arbitration Course, the first continuing professional education program in Canada to focus exclusively on the arbitration of family law disputes, in 2021. This annual course runs for six days spread over six weeks, and is open to anyone interested in arbitrating family law disputes, not just lawyers. Additional programs on special advanced topics are offered from time to time. For more information about the course and our other programs, visit

John-Paul has been recognized by Best Lawyers, a peer-reviewed legal directory, since 2010, and recommended by Doyle's Guide since 2020. He is a recipient of the Canadian Bar Association's National Pro Bono Service Award, the UBC Law Alumni Association's Outstanding Young Alumnus Award, the Harry Rankin, QC Pro Bono Award from the CBA British Columbia and the Distinguished Service Award from the CBA Alberta and the Law Society of Alberta. In a 2012 report of the BC Public Legal Education and Information Working Group, John-Paul, a lawyer in private practice, was identified as one of the six major providers of public legal education on family law in British Columbia, along with the Legal Services Society, the CBA, the British Columbia Ministry of Justice and the University of Victoria Law Centre.

John-Paul is consulted by provincial governments and the federal government on family law matters and legislative and procedural reforms. He has served on the Provincial Court of British Columbia's Family Law Rules Committee, the British Columbia Attorney General's Family Law Act Advisory Group, Family Relations Act Review Advisory Committee and Arbitration Act Advisory Group, the Advisory Group on Public Legal Education and Information for Bill C-78 for the federal Department of Justice, and the Law Society of British Columbia's Licensed Paralegal Task Force. He has twice given evidence as an expert on family law issues to the Canadian Senate's Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.

Senator Serge Joyal, Chair of the Senate of Canada's Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, said this following John-Paul's most recent appearance before the committee, discussing Bill C-78:

"Mr. Boyd, thank you for having shared the wealth of your experience and understanding of Canadian law, not only at the federal but at the provincial level also. And I'm sure that the honourable senators will want to keep you on their favourite list of experts we will want to listen to when we are charged by the chamber to review family law legislation."

John-Paul has been interviewed for and quoted in articles and editorials appearing in publications and websites including The Walrus, The Globe and Mail, CBC News, CTV News, the National Post, Global News, Maclean's, the Calgary Herald, the Edmonton Journal, the Vancouver Sun, the Victoria Times Colonist, the Toronto Star, the Telegraph-Journal, the Canadian Bar Association's National Magazine, The Lawyer's Daily, Law Times and Canadian Lawyer magazine. He appears frequently on radio and television on matters related to family justice. His most recent media appearances include CBC's Calgary Eyeopener, Global National, 980 CKNW, CBC's Alberta at Noon, CPAC, NewsTalk 770, 660 NEWS, CBC's Maritime Noon, CBC's The National, CBC's The Current, CBC's The 180 and the TVO podcast Word Bomb, discussing issues such as the proposed amendments to the Divorce Act, polyamorous relationships and the law, the good divorce, resolving legal disputes out of court, legislative reforms, successfully parenting apart, alienated and estranged children, litigants without lawyers and parenting coordination.

John-Paul provides mediation, arbitration and parenting coordination services for family law disputes in Alberta and British Columbia. John-Paul also provides independent legal advice on family law agreements as well as a variety of children's legal services, including preparing non-evaluative views of the child reports, giving independent legal advice where children's informed consent is required and drafting children's affidavits. His goal in all family law disputes is to help the parties resolve their disagreements quickly and fairly, and in a way that takes into account the impact that their dispute may have on any children, minimizes conflict and encourages cooperation between the parties, and promotes the future functioning of the separated family. For more information, visit the website of John-Paul's firm, John-Paul Boyd Arbitration Chambers.

curriculm vitae
pdf curriculum vitae (current as of 19 May 2024)
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