What is arbitration?
Arbitration is a mean of preventing and resolving disputes.
You can entrust an arbitrator with the task of resolving a dispute and, if necessary, determining the damages to be paid.
Arbitration can replace a formal tribunal as the arbitrator’s decision is usually final and cannot be appealed (except in cases where the rules of natural justice and public order have not been respected.)
In addition, the delays in arbitration are shorter than the delays to be heard in court.
Finally, the proceedings and the outcome of the arbitration are private and confidential.
Are you looking for a certified arbitration lawyer?
When is it suitable?
Arbitration is appropriate to prevent or resolve disputes that mainly concern businesses, or to resolve civil disputes. For instance, arbitration can be used when the terms of a contract are not respected.
Did you know? You can use arbitration before starting legal proceedings or even when the dispute is already in court. In both cases, you will have to agree with the other party to use arbitration to resolve your dispute.
Arbitration may also be imposed by law, regulation or contract clause.
For example, the use of arbitration is required in the field of labour relations and in some transport-related sectors, but it is common to see arbitration clauses in agreements between a company’s shareholders.
There are many benefits to choosing an arbitrator. Unlike a mediator, the arbitrator makes a decision that is binding on the parties, just like a judgment. This decision is final and without appeal, which puts a definitive end to the dispute.
The most important benefit is the rapid settlement of the dispute. Indeed, a case that may take a few years to go to trial can be settled in a few months with an arbitrator. Faster means and less lawyer fees. In addition to the speed and neutrality of the process, the decisions made by the arbitrators are confidential. Indeed, they are not published and therefore never made public.
As for the arbitrator’s fees, you must pay the costs of the arbitration in equal proportions.
Mr. Lemyre is a certified arbitration lawyer acting in civil, commercial and corporate matters, duly accredited by the IMAQ (Institut de médiation et d’arbitrage du Québec), having followed the formation recognized by the Comité accréditeur en arbitrage civil et commercial du Barreau du Québec.
What is his purpose?
The arbitrator shall settle the dispute in accordance with the rules of law applicable in Quebec.
It may define or adopt rules of procedure in accordance with the laws governing their practice.
He acts in confidentiality with diligence, impartiality, independence and neutrality.
The arbitrator may not be prosecuted for acts performed in carrying out his duties, unless he acted in bad faith or committed a gross or intentional fault.
Do you wish to opt for arbitration?
You may provide the other party with a dated notice that you wish to use arbitration to resolve your dispute (specifying the purpose).
Alternatively, you may also receive a letter from the other party to inform you of their interest.
Choosing the arbitrator
Once you have agreed to use arbitration, you will then have to choose an arbitrator by mutual agreement.
You will be able to choose him/her according to his/her training (lawyer, notary, engineer, accountant, economist, etc.) or expertise in the field in question.
You will have a preliminary meeting with the arbitrator (in person or by phone).
You will discuss the following points with him:
- procedure and rules applicable to the conduct of the hearing;
- presenting evidence (contracts, reports, financial statements, etc.);
- convening witnesses (if necessary);
- the date, duration and location of the hearing.
In addition, the arbitrator may ask you to provide a statement of your positions before the hearing. He may also ask you to provide evidence to support your statements. You may even want to consult the documents that have been sent to the arbitrator by the other party before the hearing.
The hearing may take place over one or more days. You will then present your case, and you will learn about the other party’s case as well.
Throughout the hearing, the arbitrator will lead the discussions between you and the other party. If necessary, he or she may ask people, designated by you, to come and testify.
The arbitrator ends the hearing to deliberate and will later render his decision (the arbitration ruling).
The arbitrator will make his decision (the arbitral award) to you in writing. This is usually final and without appeal. It is also of a private nature (unlike a judgment obtained in court which would be public).
The arbitrator must generally deliver his decision within three months of the reserved decision. You can also apply to the court for homologation if you want it to have the same value as a judgment.
Did you know? Homologation makes it possible to enforce the terms of the arbitral award if you or the other party does not comply with them.