Arbitration Law

What is Arbitration LawWhat is arbitration law all about?

Taking someone to court isn’t always your only option. Arbitration, a binding system of non-adversarial dispute resolution, may be available. Right Legal can help you find a lawyer experienced in handling arbitration files.

What is arbitration?

Arbitration is a binding system of dispute resolution involving a trained and certified individual (the arbitrator) who will hear the cases of each side and render a decision. This decision is generally legally binding (unless the parties have agreed to non-binding arbitration).

The two foremost advantages of arbitration, as compared to litigation, are that arbitration is far less expensive than going to court, and also can happen much more quickly. While it can take almost a year from the date of filing to the hearing for a civil or family law claim in the court system, an arbitration case can often be settled inside of a month. Furthermore, arbitration allows the parties to be more involved in the resolution of the dispute, as they will generally work with the appointed arbitrator to reach a solution.

What laws govern arbitration in Canada?

Arbitration is regulated by the government at the provincial level. Each province will have some form of Arbitration Act, which will govern all aspects of arbitration, including qualification of arbitrators, procedures during arbitration, and awards and appeals.

What sort of work would an arbitrator be involved in?

Many commercial disputes will be referred to arbitration, as many software licenses, terms of use, and other, similar agreements contain arbitration clauses. Business lawyers will have been responsible for drafting these clauses, but the actual arbitration that will result must be handled by an arbitrator.

Family law issues are frequently submitted to arbitration. Given the costs that can be incurred when family law files, especially divorces, are being litigated, compared to the actual payoff of those files, arbitration is usually in every party’s interest, even if the divorce in question is highly contested.

Points of Interest

In “panel” arbitration scenarios, each party will appoint an arbitrator, and those appointed arbitrators will appoint a third arbitrator to complete the panel.

It is common for many contracts to include “arbitration clauses”, which will bind the parties to attempt to settle any disputes through arbitration instead of taking them to court. Sometimes, a court can be persuaded not to accept an arbitration clause, such as if the clause is poorly written, or was the result of undue influence by one party over the other.

The rules of evidence that apply to all court trials and hearings (established in the Alberta Evidence Act) do not apply as strictly to arbitration, and can sometimes be modified if agreed upon by both parties.

Need help finding an arbitration lawyer in Edmonton? We can help connect you with the right professional for your needs.