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As an adjudicator, you must not only deliver legally sufficient decisions but also be clear, coherent and credible. This is an art and a skill requiring continuing refinement.  

This intensive, two-day program builds on principles and skills learned in previous decision writing training programs delivered by SOAR and/or OsgoodePD.  This hands-on program takes a deep dive into key areas of written judgments and will strengthen your decision-writing skills through individualized feedback on your own writing style and voice. It also provides an opportunity to engage with other experienced adjudicators and explore evolving ideas about what makes writing “great”. You will:

  • Learn how to bring a more audience-focused perspective to your decision writing
  • Craft powerful introductions and use narrative to meet the needs of your audience
  • Explore innovative techniques to provide context and use point-first writing
  • Develop an effective writing process, and structure issue-driven decisions

In small groups, you will refine and hone your overall decision writing skills and point-first writing principles.  Practical exercises – custom developed for this program – focus on improving clarity at the paragraph, sentence and word level.  You will learn to develop a clear and credible voice and boost your confidence when delivering oral and written judgements.

Register now!  This program sells out in each offering, and is strictly capped to ensure an interactive learning experience at the advanced level.

NOTE:  This program requires PRE-PROGRAM PREPARATION

  • Participants will be asked to submit electronically a decision they have written (8 to 15 pages in length, featuring more than one issue) by 12:00 pm on April 16, 2021.
  • Facilitators will review the decision, using a template of the key learning objectives, in order to provide feedback to each participant, and to help participants prepare to revise the decision during the course.
  • In the workshops, participants will mostly be working on revisions to the decision they submit. For that reason, they are strongly encouraged to bring their submitted decision on a laptop or tablet they can use to make revisions during the sessions.
  • They are also asked to bring one copy of their decision printed out, for use during the first exercise on Day 1


Program Director

  • Pamela Chapman, Legal Educator and Consultant

Expert Instructors

  • Shelley Appleby-Ostroff, Legal Talent Development, Consultant & Writing Coach, SAO Legal Writing; Former Sessional Professor, University of Ottawa Faculty of Law’s Legal Writing Academy
  • Caroline Mandell, Legal Communication and Litigation Consultant, Mandell Coaching
  • Virginia McRae, Sessional Professor, University of Ottawa Faculty of Law’s Legal Writing Academy
  • Barbara Morris, Professor of English, Humber College (retired)


Fees include attendance and program materials.

Program Changes

We will make every effort to present the certificate program as advertised, but it may be necessary to change the dates, location, speakers or content with little or no notice. In the event of program cancellation, York University and Osgoode Hall Law School’s liability is limited to reimbursement of paid fees.

Cancellations and Substitutions

Substitution of registrants is permitted at any time. If you are unable to find a substitute, a full refund is available if a cancellation request is received in writing 14 days prior to the program date. If a cancellation request is made with less than 14 days notice, a $75 administration fee will apply. No other refund is available.


Have questions? Read our FAQs.

Program Details

Questions on program registration?
Please contact the Registration Team at osgoodepd@osgoode.yorku.ca

Questions on the program content?
Please contact the Program Lawyer:
Gail Geronimo at GGeronimo@osgoode.yorku.ca

Program Details

Date & Time

April 29 & 30, 2021
9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. EDT


Online - Live, interactive

Fee per Delegate

$1,295 plus HST

Register Now

Printable Registration Form

Eligible CPD Credit Hours

Who Should Attend

  • Graduates of the OsgoodePD/SOAR Certificate in Adjudication OR
  • Participants who have completed Éffective Decision Writing (SOAR/OPD – 1 day workshop) OR
  • Experienced decision-writers, reviewers, and counsel with administrative and regulatory agencies, boards and tribunals (at least 2-3 years of adjudicative experience)

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A joint program with the Society of Ontario Adjudicators and Regulators (SOAR)

Hotels & Parking

If you require accommodations in downtown Toronto, OsgoodePD has arranged Corporate Rates with several hotels within walking distance of our downtown conference centre.