What is Arbitration?
Arbitration is a dispute resolution process that does not involve litigation or “going to Court” to resolve a dispute. Arbitration should not however be viewed as a less effective alternative to litigation. Arbitration is a valid dispute resolution mechanism that the parties may have contracted for in their commercial contract or could voluntarily decide to engage in, to resolve their dispute. Put simply, arbitration is like having a private judge hear the case, to make a decision that the parties have agreed to be bound by.
What type of Arbitration do I practice?
My practice is restricted to domestic commercial arbitration primarily within the areas of Employment Law and general Civil Commercial cases. I have also been retained to conduct arbitration within the church or ecclesiastical realm.
To-date, I have been an “ad hoc” arbitrator. That means, the arbitration is not administered by an arbitration institution such as ADR Chambers in Toronto, Ontario. Arbitrations administered by an arbitration institution, have their own set of rules of procedure.
When acting as an “an hoc” arbitrator, the arbitration will commence and run under rules set out in applicable provincial legislation. In Ontario, Canada where I practice, the relevant statute for domestic arbitration is the Arbitration Act, 1991 S.O. 1991, C.17. Having said, the Arbitration Act does provide for exceptions for when it applies.
What types of Arbitration do I not practice?
The arbitrations that I will not do include Family Law disputes, International Commercial disputes, or complex Corporate/Commercial matters.
What are the benefits of Arbitration versus Litigation?
The primary benefit of arbitration is confidentiality. Arbitration decisions are not public. This has value in the church or ecclesiastical realm and in commercial cases where there is concern over reputational harm should a dispute become public as they are within litigation. Expedience in arranging and hearing an arbitration, is a second benefit. Arbitrators are available on your schedule, rather than waiting for the trial office in the Court system to dictate when hearings are held (often years after litigation is commenced).
How do I choose an Arbitrator?
Choosing the right arbitrator is the most important step in the whole process. The arbitrator must understand the arbitral process as a whole and be committed to it. The arbitrator must be able to objectively hear the evidence, listen to arguments, determine credibility of witnesses, apply the law and be able to effectively write a clear and useful decision that is binding. The arbitrator must be fair, civil, and courteous while being a leader who can manage the arbitral process from start to finish.
My experience at arbitration, mediation, litigation and my 17 years as a Small Claims Court Deputy Judge (Halton) has trained me to be an effective and fair decision-maker.
What Arbitration training do I have?
My entire legal career plus specialized training in arbitration and mediation has prepared me to an effective arbitrator. I have been a practising lawyer since 1988 when I was called to the Bar of Ontario. Since then, I have practised litigation in a variety of areas including personal injury, insurance, civil, commercial, employment law and human rights, to name a few. From 2003 to 2021, I sat as a Deputy Judge, Small Claims Court (Halton) where I learned how to run a courtroom, decide all manners of cases, determine evidence and credibility, apply the law to the facts and write clear decision that are useful to the parties.
In 2020, I successfully completed a robust course entitled Toronto Commercial Arbitration Society – Gold Standard Course. The course was 9 months in length and concluded with an exam and decision-writing exercise. This course resulted in the designation of Qualified Arbitrator with the ADR Institute of Ontario.
To discuss your Arbitration needs, please call me at 905-257-7714.