Patrick J. Aulis is the founder of North York Mediation and principle lawyer at Aulis Law Firm Professional Corporation. After being called to the bar in Ontario in 2003, Patrick has maintained a general practice with a substantial emphasis on the traditional practice of family law through the various courts in Ontario.
In 2017 Patrick made the decision to shift his family practice from the traditional adversarial family law practice into a practice focused on a cooperative approach including collaborative representation of clients with another similarly collaborative lawyer representing the other party, mediation of family disputes by represented or unrepresented parties, arbitration of family disputes either of represented or unrepresented parties and the mediation/arbitration hybrid through which mediation is attempted followed by a binding arbitration of unsettled issues.
Patrick believes that empowering people with a fair opportunity to negotiate on their own behalf in a safe environment where they can be the driving force towards the solutions to the problems they share with their former partners is generally preferable to the traditional adversarial approach espoused in traditional family litigation. Adversarial advocacy in litigation grew out of a tradition where people at arms length sought to resolve isolated disputes (like contract or tort claims) and then move on with their separate lives. Family disputes rarely fit well in this model and the need to address long standing relationships stretching back over many years, take non-parties into account (such as the children and their interests) both in the short term and the long term (my former law partner and mentor, Mel Antflyck, liked to say that having children was a “life sentence”) makes them poor candidates for the traditional approach which often leaves them angrier with each other, feeling less empowered as their counsel start exchanging technical and tactical correspondence, perhaps unsatisfied with the result handed down by the judge and almost always greatly impoverished by the financial drain and emotional of the litigation process.