If you are involved in a property, or commercial conflict, you may want to consider arbitration rather than litigation. Here are some quick pointers.
- In the GTA, lawsuits are taking from five to seven years to reach trial. These delays directly result from government under funding and a shortage of judges.
- Arbitration can move quickly and produce effective results provided that the parties and their lawyers co-operate in designing an arbitration process that does not imitate mandatory court processes which take time and rely on unnecessary levels of documentation.
- The arbitrator or arbitrators, usually one or three, should be professionally accredited and knowledgeable about the subject matter of the dispute.
- Where the parties agree to arbitrate, and select their arbitrator(s), their lawyers participate in a ‘preliminary first meeting’ with the arbitrator to work out a time table containing all the required steps including delivery of position statements, exchange of documents, face to face examinations, and scheduling of the arbitration hearing.
- Once again, it is up to the parties to insist that the arbitration proceed quickly and efficiently to avoid delay, wasted time and wasted legal expense. The key to running an efficient arbitration involves emphasis on ‘quality’ not quantity’. In other words, less is more.
- The costs of arbitration are equally shared including arbitrators fees, expenses and HST and each party pays his own lawyer’s account.