Martin Prost joined Devry Smith Frank LLP (“DSF”) in 2022 as a result of the merger of our firms. Martin Prost was born on a farm in what is now the east end of Hamilton, Ontario, where hard work and common sense were the key ingredients of everyday life. After finishing High School in Stoney Creek, he obtained his first university degree in an honours bachelor of arts (Classics) program, not surprisingly at McMaster University. He then proceeded to London for his law degree at the University of Western Ontario.
Upon being called to the bar in 1974, he began his practice of law in the Town of Midland. Although he remained in general practice his interest gravitated to family law and other areas of law involving personal conflict. From there he developed an interest and aptitude in conflict resolution skills, beginning with a relational mediation course in California in 1981. Thereafter, he added to those skills by gaining experience along the way and by further courses in Alternative Dispute Resolution at the University of Windsor and a course in Divorce and Child Custody Mediation with CDR Associates in Boulder, Colorado.
This led to an interest in family group conferencing and restorative justice circles both of which are based on similar principles. In 1998 he brought together the local Youth Court Judge, the Chief of Police, the school Attendance Officer, and other interested community members to establish the FACE Program, being a restorative justice project to divert young offenders from Youth Court to restorative circles designed to heal relationships between victims, offender and others affected by their behaviour.
From there he has arrived at a personal belief that conflict is a valuable resource that should never be taken away from those directly involved except as a last resort, and then only as a temporary measure. Situations that involve conflict should be welcomed as opportunities for growth and renewal for partners, families and communities alike.