University of Calgary

Deanne Sowter

  • Instructor

Biography

Deanne joined the faculty in July 2017, following several years as a family law practitioner with a focus on negotiated settlements. Deanne is also a Research Fellow with the Winkler Institute for Dispute Resolution at Osgoode Hall Law School, and she was the 2015/16 Ontario Bar Association Foundation Chief Justice of Ontario Fellow in Legal Ethics and Professionalism Studies. Deanne holds a B.F.A from York University, an M.F.A. from the American Film Institute (Producing), and a J.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School. Following law school, Deanne articled at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP in Toronto before she began specializing in family law.

Prior to becoming a lawyer, Deanne worked in the film industry for 13 years. She held positions at The Kennedy/Marshall Company in Los Angeles, and at the Canadian Film Centre and eOne Entertainment International in Toronto.

Affiliations

Winkler Institute for Dispute Resolution
Collaborative Practice Toronto

Bar Admissions

Member of the Ontario Bar

Teaching

Law 508: Negotiation
Law 510: Ethical Lawyering
Law 515: Family Law
Law 683: Advanced Family Law

Research/Scholarly Activities

Deanne is currently a Research Fellow with the Winkler Institute for Dispute Resolution at Osgoode Hall Law School. She contributes to the Justice Innovation Blog and her work has been published in the Journal of Arbitration and Mediation. Deanne’s research focuses on the intersection of legal ethics and family law alternative dispute resolution, with a particular emphasis on the ethical implications of innovation in legal practice.

Research Areas

  • Legal Ethics
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Family Law
  • Legal Profession

Selected Publications and Presentations

Publications

  • Deanne Sowter, "Ethical Advocacy in Multi-Party Mediation" in Martha Simmons, In Search of Resolution: Complex Issues in Mediation Advocacy (Toronto: Thomson Reuters, 2018).
  • Deanne Sowter, “Professionalism & Ethics in Family Law: The Other 90%” (2016) 6.1 Journal of Arbitration and Mediation 167.

Presentations

  • "Out of our Comfort Zone: Difficult Conversations and their Potential to Create Ethical Lawyers" (Presentation at ACCLE-CALT Joint Conference: The Whole Lawyer 2.0, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, June 2018)
  • "Expanding the Pie: An Intensive and Progressive Approach to Mandatory Negotiations Curriculum" (co-presented with David Wright at ACCLE-CALT Joint Conference: The Whole Lawyer 2.0, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, June 2018).
  • "Legal Services Regulation and Disruption" (Panelist at the CBA-FLSC Ethics Forum, Toronto, Ontario, March 2018).
  • "Ethical Disclosure in Collaborative Practice: The Trust Factor" (paper presentation at Canadian Association of Legal Ethics Conference, Dalhousie, Halifax, October 2017)
  • "Ethics in 6 Minutes" (Panel member - "The 6 Minute Settlement Practitioner", at the OCLF & OAFM Conference: Collaborative Practice & Mediation – The Power of Interest Based Negotiation, Niagara, Ontario, September 2017)
  • "Ethics and Professionalism in Family Law ADR" (2 x 90 minute workshops, at the OCLF & OAFM Conference: Collaborative Practice & Mediation – The Power of Interest Based Negotiation, Niagara, Ontario, September 2017)
  • “Collaborative Law overview and skills class” (3-hour guest lecture in Mediation class at Osgoode Hall Law School, March 2017)

Blog posts

  • Deanne Sowter, "Can we Reframe the Family Law Reform Conversation, Please?" Justice Innovation Blog - Winkler Institute for Dispute Resolution (November 2017) (read)
  • Deanne Sowter, "Ethical Disclosure in Collaborative Practice: The Trust Factor" Justice Innovation Blog - Winkler Institute for Dispute Resolution (September 2017)
  • Deanne Sowter, "Collaborative Practice Pro Bono Project Launches" Justice Innovation Blog – Winkler Institute for Dispute Resolution (May 30, 2017)
  • Deanne Sowter, “Family Law ADR Requires a Higher Ethical Standard, Part II” Justice Innovation Blog - Winkler Institute for Dispute Resolution (June 20, 2016).
  • Deanne Sowter, “Family Law Requires a Higher Ethical Standard” Justice Innovation Blog – Winkler Institute for Dispute Resolution (May 24, 2016).
  • Deanne Sowter, “Professionalism & Ethics in Family Law: The Other 90%, Part II – What Does It Mean to Be Ethical in An Innovative Process?” Justice Innovation Blog – Winkler Institute for Dispute Resolution (February 7, 2016).
  • Deanne Sowter, “Professionalism & Ethics in Family Law: The Other 90%” Justice Innovation Blog – Winkler Institute for Dispute Resolution (November 11, 2015).

Professional Service

Deanne serves on the Professional Development Committee for Collaborative Practice Toronto, and is the Chair of Education and Development for the Pro Bono Collaborative Family Law Project which is a partnership between the Mediation Clinic at Osgoode Hall Law School and Collaborative Practice Toronto.

Photograph of Deanne Sowter
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