The April issue of the Harvard Negotiation Law Revue features a detailed article written by Kamloops lawyer and TRU law instructor David Paul, QC.
Paul recently completed a Masters degree in Law from Osgoode Hall (York University) in Toronto and his graduate thesis was selected by Harvard University for publication.
Paul’s work explores a new area of family law mediation by employing the use of therapy dogs. His hypothesis is grounded in the widespread use of therapy dogs to assist individuals in other stressful situations.
“Divorce is a stressful and difficult time for the entire family and I wanted to explore how to reduce that stress,” he said.
His thesis explores the history of canine human interactions and the effective use of dogs to reduce stress and anxiety. Research points to dogs helping calm children before serious medical operations, helping improve mood and disposition at seniors’ homes and even assist young people about to give stressful testimony at a criminal trial.
“Even here at TRU, volunteers bring dogs to campus each Thursday to help students cope with exam pressure and being away from home, I wanted to explore how dogs could assist in family mediation.”
As a family law mediator and instructor of dispute resolution in TRU’s School of Law, Paul has drawn on over 30 years of personal legal experience in pursuing a better solution for divorcing families.
He is taking his research and moving it into practice as he starts the process of training his new puppy (“Charlie”) to become Canada’s first certified therapy dog in family law mediation.
Paul is a partner at Paul and Company Lawyers in Kamloops where he practices family law and civil litigation with a focus on mediation and dispute resolution. He was called to the B.C. Bar in 1987. In addition, he’s a sessional instructor of Fundamental Legal Skills, Family Law, and Dispute Resolution at the Thompson Rivers University Law School.
The Harvard Negotiation Law Review is published globally and is dedicated to the advancement of alternate dispute resolution research and methods. A link to the publication and his article can be found at: http://www.hnlr.org/