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Archive for the ‘Dispute Resolution’ Columns

The Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth

I have been an adjudicator for nearly ten years. This experience has given rise to much food for thought. Training a diverse range of adjudicators from a variety of tribunals has caused me to reflect on why we do the things we do in adjudication. While core processes are similar across tribunals, there is a great diversity in approaches. For me, the adjudicative processes need to meet two, primary objectives: fairness and efficiency. These columns will highlight the diversity in approach and look at best practices in meeting these twin objectives.

Testimony is at the centre of most oral hearings. . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Unlocking the Potential of Commercial Mediation

A senior commercial litigator who had just completed five days of civil mediation training in BC commented: “That didn’t look at all like what I have experienced in mediation!”

With a little probing, he expanded on the disconnect that he experienced as follows:

Attribute Training Model Commercial Mediation Model Mediator selection Process expertise Subject matter expertise Pre-mediation preparation Detailed separate meetings between mediator and each party and counsel, if any, to discuss underlying interests, goals Little or no interaction with the mediator prior to mediation. Possibly some exchange of mediation briefs (similar to court submissions) Mediation Emphasis on joint meetings . . . [more]
Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Bearing the Costs of B2C Online Dispute Resolution

Back at the end of the last millennium, the Centre de recherché en droit public (CRDP), along with colleagues from the Centre de recherches informatique et droit (CRID) and the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) obtained a research grant from the European Commission’s Directorate General for Health and Consumers to develop what would become the ECODIR (Electronic Consumer Dispute Resolution) ODR platform.

Launched in Brussels in October 2001, the ECODIR platform was well received by the various stakeholders: consumer associations, professional associations, industrial groups, the public sector, the European Commission, etc. The technical aspects of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Why Is Commercial Arbitration So Expensive?

Commercial arbitrators often hear litigators and business people complain that arbitration has become just as expensive as litigation.

“Why arbitrate when it costs so much? Plus we have to pay the arbitrator; in court, at least we don’t pay for the judge.”

It’s a valid question. But I think the more important question is: what can arbitrators and counsel do to make arbitration more cost effective?

The arbitrator needs to take control of the process. This is harder than it sounds. Arbitration exists because the parties have agreed to arbitrate rather than litigate. So the parties control the process and . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution