John-Paul E Boyd QC
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John-Paul E Boyd QC
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John-Paul Boyd Arbitration Chambers
service area alberta and british columbia · canada
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John-Paul E Boyd QC

John-Paul E Boyd QC, AOCA MA LLB, is a family law arbitrator, family law mediator and parenting coordinator. He is the principal of John-Paul Boyd Arbitration Chambers, providing services throughout all of Alberta and British Columbia, Canada, 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, a non-profit organization affiliated with the University of Calgary, as its executive director in 2013. He returned to private practice in 2018 and was appointed Queen's Counsel in 2019. He took his training as a mediator in 2005, as a parenting coordinator in 2007, as an arbitrator in 2011 and as a collaborative practitioner in 2012. John-Paul has particular interests in law and procedural reform, children's rights and involvement in justice processes, the impact of parental conflict on children, access to family justice and the psychology of separation and divorce.

John-Paul is a member of the law societies of Alberta and British Columbia. He is also a member of the ADR Institute of Canada, Family Mediation Canada, the Canadian Bar Association and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. John-Paul was a founding director of the BC Hear the Child Society, the BC Parenting Coordinators Roster Society and the Family Law Arbitrators Group Society in Vancouver.

John-Paul is the founding author of the acclaimed public legal education resource JP Boyd on Family Law, published in its third edition in 2019, and its former companion blog, the first legal blog cited in a Canadian court judgment. His other written work has been published by the UBC Law Review, Canadian Family Law Quarterly, the Canadian Journal of Family Law, the International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family, the Journal of International Aging, Law and Policy, the federal Department of Justice, the National Judicial Institute, the Nova Scotia Department of Justice, The Lawyer's Daily 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. John-Paul is a member of the advisory board of the Canadian Journal of Family Law, and 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.

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 JP 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 and alternative dispute resolution for Slaw. Browse or download the ebook John-Paul Boyd: Selected Slaw columns from 2014 to 2019 from CanLII.

John-Paul is 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 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.

Lawyers attending one of John-Paul's more recent talks, 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 was listed by Best Lawyers, a peer-reviewed legal directory, from 2010 until 2014, when he left private practice to join the research institute. 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 Q.C. 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, then working as 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 and as a member of the British Columbia Attorney General's Family Law Act Advisory Group, Family Relations Act Review Advisory Committee and Arbitration Act Advisory Group. He has twice given evidence as an expert on family law issues to the Canadian Senate's Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. He presently serves on 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.

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, med-arb 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 4 August 2020)
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