Arbitration has been called a private courtroom but it’s really something quite different. The process does involve you handing over decision making to someone else much like you would in going to court. It also ends in a legally binding award but that’s where the similarities end. 

In arbitration most choices are yours to make. While the end decision is handed over to someone else, defining the process is very much within your control. 

For starters, you get to pick the decision maker. You can pick someone that has the right qualifications and experience related to the issues you are most concerned with. You can pick someone that can work within your budget and your timeframe. You have a say in how evidence will be given and how the decision will be made. 

It’s a formal process but not as formal, public and scary as being in a courtroom. It’s also confidential which is a huge plus for families. 

Those who can’t or won’t try mediation often want their day in court(excluding those you can’t mediate or arbitrate for safety reasons). Not necessarily that they want to do it in a public forum but they want the opportunity to have their say, and for someone to pass judgement on the other party. To those people I say, welcome to arbitration. You choose what evidence you put in front of the arbitrator, how much time you want for that to happen and at the end of the process the arbitrator will make a judgement based on the evidence you yourself (and your counsel if participating) provided and the applicable law. 

Arbitration Pros and Cons

PROSCONS
You select the decision makerCommitted to the process except for very few exceptions
Not bound by the court process -You can contract out of thingsYou pay for the decision maker's time
You define the processCould be less transparent because it is confidential
Can work within your budgetLimited rights of appeal
Confidential unless appealedMust make award into a court order
You define the timelineMay not be taken as serious as court
Binding decisionMay not have the same security court has
Screening for appropriateness & accommodations can be made

Process

Intake

Screening by third party (report to Arbitrator only)

Draft Arbitration Agreement

Independent Legal Advice

Pre-hearing conference 

Finalize and sign Arbitration Agreement

Exchange documents as agreed upon

Arbitration Hearing

Arbitration Award

Fees (+hst)

$300      per hour for all arbitration activities. Includes all meetings, reviewing of reports, emails and documents, longer calls and coordination by our office.

Each party will be responsible for providing a deposit against fees of $2,500.

$1,600 Half-day scheduled in advance, includes scheduled 15-minute conference call at least 5 business days before, 1 hour of preparation, 30 minutes of post-meeting follow up provided by email and up to a 4-hour meeting.

$2,500 Full-day scheduled in advance, includes scheduled 15-minute conference call at least 5 business days before, 1 hour of preparation, 30 minutes of post-meeting follow up provided by email and up to a 7-hour meeting.

Travel time for in-person meetings is charged at $100/hour. Time is calculated from our Whitby office.