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What is Arbitration?

A binding resolution

Arbitration is a process of dispute resolution in which parties to a conflict agree to refer their matter to a trained, impartial, neutral third party. A hearing is conducted and a binding decision is rendered. The Arbitrator has an obligation to be impartial, to consider the evidence and render a binding written decision in accordance with the Arbitration Agreement, the principles of natural justice and the Arbitration Act. Jones Divorce Mediation offers both expedited hearings and regular hearings to help you achieve your goals.

Advantages

There are many advantages to pursuing a resolution through arbitration, some of which are as follows:

Efficiency

There are numerous steps that must be taken prior to scheduling a court trial and, therefore, Court of Queen’s Bench trials are typically scheduled well over six months from the date we decide to proceed to trail.

EXPERIENCE

The arbitrator that will decide your matter is selected by an agreement between the parties. You have the ability to choose a lawyer with extensive knowledgeable and experience in family and divorce law. Court Justices have a wide range of legal backgrounds and the Justice that is assigned at trial may or may not have any experience in family law.

confidential

Unless there is an appeal, arbitration sessions are private, as are the communications, documentation and notes made in the course of arbitration. Litigation involves public court appearances, documentation and evidence all of which is a matter of public record is accessible by anyone.

STRESS

Arbitration takes place in a private boardroom. Providing testimony in that setting is far less stressful and intimidating than testifying in an open court room.

AFFORDABILITY

Since arbitration provides a more streamlined process than a court trial and since lawyers are paid by the hour, arbitration can be far less expensive than a litigated resolution.

consistency

The arbitrator that will decide your matter will be the same person that decides any and all matters in your dispute. During traditional litigation, parties generally attend court multiple times before trial and typically appear before a different Justice on each appearance. Many preliminary applications involve Justices making decisions based on limited understanding of the family circumstances due to the time limitation associated with the applications. This can result in a lack of consistency. Well arbitration may also involve interim applications, parties always attend with the same professional arbitrator, which affords the consistency of a single decision-maker with an immediate understanding of their case and particular circumstances.

flexible

Arbitrators will work with parties to accommodate work and vacation schedules. Although timelines and decisions can be imposed there are not as rigid as those imposed by Court. Litigation, court appearances and the Rules of Court are not at all flexible.

Arbitration FAQS

If you have any questions or would like to further discuss any matters related to the FAQs, please connect with us directly.
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How long does arbitration take?
The length of an arbitration varies depending on the availability of the parties, the arbitrator and any legal counsel involved, the number and complexity of the issues requiring resolution and the number of witnesses involved in the arbitration hearing.

Typically an arbitration lasts between one and ten days. An arbitration award (the binding decision rendered by the arbitrator) is rendered within one month of the conclusion of the arbitration hearing.
Is an arbitration resolution legally binding?
Yes. An arbitration award rendered in an arbitration process is legally binding on both parties pursuant to the Arbitration Act. An arbitration award can be converted into an Order of the Court of Queen’s Bench and enforced in the same manner as a Judgment rendered at trial.
How much will arbitration cost?
Arbitration services are offered at a set hourly rate and therefore the cost of an arbitrated solution varies depending upon how long an arbitration hearing lasts. Typically, the length of arbitration is between one day and one week. Since it does not take nearly as long to get to arbitration than it takes to get to trial, arbitration tends to be significantly less expensive than litigation. Additionally, parties have the opportunity to control the level of formality of an arbitration hearing, which affords them more control over the cost of arbitration. In litigation, parties have no control over the process or level of formality.
Is arbitration private and confidential?
Yes. Arbitration sessions are private, as are the communications, documentation and notes made in the course of arbitration. Litigation involves public court appearances, documentation and evidence all of which are matters of public record, accessible by anyone.

The only time an arbitration award will become public is if it needs to be turned into a court order for it to be enforced. In that case, it is possible that the arbitration award will become part of a public court file but the particulars of an arbitration would only ever become part of a public court file in the event that parties opted to have a court reporter transcribe the arbitration proceedings. Most people choose not to have arbitration proceedings transcribed.
What is involved in the arbitration process?
The arbitration process always involves an initial arbitration meeting, an arbitration hearing and an arbitration award. When there are emergent matters that need to be resolved in advance of the arbitration hearing itself the arbitration process will also involve interim applications. Each part of the arbitration process is described more thoroughly below:

Initial Arbitration Meeting: there will be an initial arbitration session in order to:
• identify the issues to be resolved
• determine whether or not there are any emergent matters that require a decision prior to the arbitration hearing
• determine what steps, if any, are required prior to the arbitration hearing
• decide how formal the arbitration hearing will be
• identify the witnesses to provide evidence
• specify the length of time required to conduct the hearing
• set timelines and schedule the next steps and/or schedule the arbitration hearing

Interim Applications – any emergent matters are resolved by way of provisional arbitration hearings and temporary arbitration awards are rendered to resolve these issues.

Arbitration Hearing – the arbitration hearing allows parties to present evidence and argument. Many arbitrations only involve the parties themselves presenting evidence but some include third party witnesses, such as experts like business valuators or child psychologists.

Arbitration Award – an arbitration award is the binding decision which is issued by the arbitrator. The award is rendered within one month of the conclusion of the arbitration hearing.
Can I use a lawyer?
Yes.

While most of our clients choose not to retain divorce lawyers for our services, everyone is welcome to retain a divorce lawyer at any time during any resolution process. Although the professionals at Jones Divorce Mediation are all experienced family lawyers themselves they are not acting as either parties lawyer in any of the process options we offer. Our professionals can provide current and accurate legal information but they will not offer any legal advice to either party. If you want legal advice then you need to retain a divorce lawyer, who will be free to attend any session that is offered.
Do I need a lawyer?
No. Jones Divorce Mediation is a company that is specifically designed for conflict resolution without the need to retain lawyers. Mediation is a straightforward process that is easy for individuals to navigate on their own. It is governed by the rules of natural justice and not the complicated Rules of Court, which makes many people feel comfortable mediating without divorce lawyers. If you want a lawyer, that is fine but it is optional, not required.

Parties are completely free to retain their own legal counsel at any time during any resolution process. Lawyers can attend Mediation, Mediation/Arbitration or Arbitration.

There are some issues that are not well suited for these services, such as situations where Child Family Services is involved, there is a history of severe abuse, or when a child has been removed from this jurisdiction. If this is your situation, you should retain a divorce lawyer.
What is a divorce lawyer's role in arbitration?
A divorce lawyer represents a client in an arbitration the same way they would represent a client in a court trial. The lawyer elicits evidence from any witnesses that are called in support of a client’s case. The lawyer then cross-examines any witnesses that are called in support of the other party’s case; presents case law; outlines the legal test to be applied to any matter in issue and how the law should be applied to achieve a client’s desired outcome; and advocates for a client’s case in a closing statement.
What are the steps involved in arbitration?
The arbitration process offered by Jones Divorce Mediation involves the following steps:

 1. The Initial Arbitration Meeting
There will be an initial arbitration session in order to:
◦ identify the issues to be resolved
◦ determine what steps, if any, are required prior to the arbitration hearing
◦ decide how formal the arbitration hearing will be
◦ identify the witnesses to provide evidence
◦ specify the length of time required to conduct the hearing
◦ set timelines and schedule the next steps and/or schedule the arbitration hearing.

 2. Arbitration Hearing
The arbitration hearing allows parties to present evidence and argument. Many arbitrations only involve the parties themselves presenting evidence but some include third party witnesses, such as experts like business valuators or child psychologists.

 3. Arbitration Award
An arbitration award rendered in an arbitration process (by the arbitrator) is legally binding on both parties pursuant to the Arbitration Act. The award is rendered within one month of the conclusion of the arbitration hearing.

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