A Warm Welcome from Ernie the Attorney™️️

Ernie's Bucket List

Visual Roadmap of Ernie the Attorney™

Timeline of Ernie the Attorney™

Ernest G. Tannis

    aka Ernie the Attorney™

Father of two wonderful, successful adults. Grandfather of three beautiful children.

Lawyer, Solicitor, Chartered Mediator, Facilitator, Author, Educator, Public Speaker



Chartered Mediator

1985 to 1991

Attended 100's of Conferences and Workshops on Alternative Dispute Resolution

  • 1985 suspended thriving law practice as was disillusioned with adversarial legal system
  • Went on a learning journey in search of dispute resolution options for people  
  • Mentor Gordon Henderson of Gowling Lafleur Henderson Law Firm invited Ernie to present his ADR findings in a Paper to the 1988 CCLA-County of Carleton Law Association Update Conference
  • Feedback on Conference paper from colleagues around the world led to the publication of his book, “Alternative Dispute Resolution That Works!”, 1989  

Called to the Bar of Ontario

  • Became a Barrister and Solicitor
  • Judge’s advice about practicing law, “Don’t be shy, do it all!” inspired his legal career 
  • Articled for Brian Karam

Graduated from the University of Ottawa

  • Common Law Degree
  • Editor for the University’s Common Law Review

Graduated Carleton University

  • Bachelor of Arts Degree
  • Applied for Masters of Library Sciences but was denied
  • Two professors suggested applying to law school to bring his humanitarianism into the law
  • Taught English Literature to 10 students with disabilities through grade 9, 10, 11
  • Met and befriended Rod Carpenter who lives with a severe quadriplegic disability

Graduated Grade 13

  • With honours
  • Received prestigious Lisgar “L”

Graduated Lisgar Collegiate Institute-High School

  • Was on the football team throughout high school. Learned strong sense of teamwork.

Graduated Lisgar Elementary School


2000 - Present

Ernest G. Tannis Professional Corporation

  • Private firm operating in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • Over 40 years of experience in dispute resolution 
  • Visit adrcentre.org for mediation services

ADR Show on CHIN Radio Ottawa

  • Created a weekly public education program on “ADR – Alternative Dispute Resolution”
  • Produced 260 one-hour segments during 5 years with over 1,000 guests 
  • Co-hosted shows with Gary Michaels, General Manager of CHIN Radio Ottawa  
  • Enjoyed by listeners worldwide over the internet

Published, "Is Everyone At The Table?"

  • Book subtitled “18 Life Lessons in Problem Solving”
  • Presents his real-life stories based on actual dispute interventions
  • Demonstrates the importance of values, perseverance, trust, humour and other principles dealing with everyday disagreements and disputes

Published, "Alternative Dispute Resolution That Works!"

  • The 20th Anniversary Edition of the pioneering ADR book in Canada, originally published in 1989
  • Kept groundbreaking 1989 research and ideas intact
  • Included a new Preface discussing ADR developments during the two decades since first published
  • 2018 reformatted as a course on globaladrstrategies.com

Formed First "All-Discipline" ADR Firm in Ontario


Resumed Law Practice

  • After a 5-year hiatus learning non-adversarial options for people to resolve disputes 
  • Acted as Counsel to the law firm Sadik Fogarty Max
  • Explored and shared negotiation options learned during 100s of ADR conferences and workshops, etc.

Founded ADR Centre Canada Inc.


Akwesasne Civil Strife (during Oka Crisis in Canada)

  • Conflict Resolution Consultant while Executive Director of CICR – Canadian Institute for Conflict Resolution (Ottawa)
  • Invited by the Akwesasne Mohawk leadership
  • Guided community to establish successful mediation center for lasting peace, “Sken Nen Kowa”

Published, "Alternative Dispute Resolution That Works!"

  • Surprised to learn his first book was also the first book published in Canada on ADR
  • Originated from his 1988 research paper to CCLA-Canadian Carleton Law Association Conference
  • For practitioners and the public to understand the options available to resolve disputes through creative solutions
  • Published ‘in tact’ in 2010, 20th Anniversary Edition

Co-Founded CICR

  • Canadian Institute for Conflict Resolution
  • Served as Executive Director for two years
  • Co-founded the Dispute Resolution Centre of Ottawa-Carleton in 1987–this led to the creation of CICR to advance conflict resolution research and training

Suspended Law Practice

  • Disillusioned with the adversarial legal system and went in search of options for people
  • Wrote poem “33 Step on the Stairway to Love”
1982 to 1985

Blaney Stapells McMurty Law Firm

  • Associate:  Practised as a Barrister in civil and criminal law.

Co-Founded Reach Canada

  • Originally “REACH” with Rod Carpenter and Lawrence Greenspon as co-founders  
  • Established as a Canadian non-profit organisation to provide lawyer referral services and educational awareness seminars to people with disabilities
  • Reach Canada’s motto is:  Equality and Justice for People with Disabilities
  • Ongoing involvement as Honourary Officer 
1976 to 1981

Karam Tannis Greenspon Law Firm

  • Practiced as a Barrister and Solicitor in civil and criminal law 
  • Was instrumental in the national precedent setting case on disability rights, regarding arranging a bank account, executable by thumbprint, for Rod Carpenter living with a severe quadriplegic disability 



Order of Ottawa

  • Received this prestigious civic award from Mayor Jim Watson
  • Awarded in recognition of his exceptional citizen contributions to city life

30-Year Celebration

  • Commemorated his 30-year ADR Journey in celebration at City Hall with over 300 fellow travellers, family and friends 
  • Attended by Mayor Jim Watson who signed the Conflict Resolution Day Proclamation 

OAFM Making a Difference Award


The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal


United Way Community Builder Award


Reach Canada Awards


Universal Peace Federation-International Leadership Conference

  • Acknowledged for his vision and leadership in a time of global conflict
  • Conference in Seoul, Korea

Two CEMA-Canadian Ethnic Media Awards

  • For the CHIN ADR Radio shows

County of Carleton Law Association Gordon Henderson Community Service Award


Conflict Resolution Day Proclamation Ottawa-Carleton

  • Proclamation “Justice Is… Just Us”
  • Convened Mayors in 11 municipalities of Ottawa-Carleton and Chairman of Regional Government who signed the declaration

Received the Lisgar "L" Upon Graduating Grade 13 with Honours


Readers Digest of Some of the Accomplishments of Ernie the Attorney™

Ernie's Books

"Alternative Dispute Resolution That Works!" 20th Anniversary Edition published in 2010 incorporates the first book published in Canada on ADR in 1989. Jack Miller, a lawyer involved in a lengthy litigation case in the 1980s, submitted Ernie’s manuscript with the Quebec Court to take judicial notice of Alternative Dispute Resolution to mediate the case and it was accepted by the court
"Is Everyone at the Table? 18 Life Lessons in Problem Solving" published in 2010 has 18 chapters of real-life stories of ADR at work in everyday negotiations and dealings. This book has been used by Ernie and other practitioners and educators as a teaching guide to help others understand and apply ADR principles and practices to prevent and solve problems.

Awards and Recognition

Play Video
In 2015 Ernie celebrated his 30-year journey with over 300 attendees at Ottawa City Hall. Hear what Jim Watson, the Mayor of Ottawa, had to say about Ernie's contributions in Alternative Dispute Resolution.
Play Video
Watch Ernie, alongside fellow recipients, proudly receiving the Order of Ottawa in 2015 from Jim Watson, the Mayor of Ottawa. He is honoured to have received this award in recognition of his accomplishments helping others in the community solve problems.

CHIN Radio Ottawa - ADR Talk Show

Ernie produced this unique, one-hour weekly Alternative Dispute Resolution Radio Talk Show as a public service from 2005 to 2010 on CJLL CHIN Radio at Ottawa 97.9. They were broadcast worldwide over the internet on www.chinradio.com. He contacted and invited over 1,500 guests who graciously shared their professional insights and personal wisdom with listeners on topics of local, national and international interest. The program received Canadian Ethnic Media Awards for two shows.
Ernie and his super-star co-host, Gary Michaels, received accolades from people around the world who found the animated discussions not only interesting but informative too. The original plan to produce 12 ADR shows turned into an amazing 5-year adventure with two CEMA awards. Shows are republished on Soundcloud and available to encourage public education and awareness of ADR. Go to: GlobalADRstartegies.com