Thomas G. Heintzman, O.C., Q.C., FCIArb

English Courts Enforce An Obligation To Mediate And Negotiate

The articles on this site have often alerted the readers to the hidden dangers of mediation and negotiation clauses in construction contracts. The principle danger is that these sorts of clauses may be unenforceable, for two reasons. The wording of the particular clause may be drafted in such a way as to create no enforceable […]

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The Supreme Court Of Canada Holds That A Mediation Agreement Doesn’t Preclude Proof That There Was Or Wasn’t A Settlement

The Supreme Court recently released its decision in Union Carbide Canada Inc. v. Bombardier Inc., 2014 SCC 35. In that decision, the Supreme Court dealt with two principles relating to mediations. The first principle is that settlement discussions are inherently confidential and therefore privileged from disclosure.  This principle is not based on statute law. Rather, […]

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Does An Informal Agreement To Mediate Stop The Limitation Period From Running?

Mediation seems like apple juice:  no harm in taking it and it might do some good. But mediation has a trap:  the limitation period. If a party enters into mediation and lets the limitation period go by, then that’s real harm. In a number of reported cases, one party to a mediation did exactly that […]

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Does The CCDC Dispute Resolution Clause Require Arbitration?

Most building contracts contain dispute resolution clauses which refer to arbitration.  A dispute resolution clause can be mandatory – it can require arbitration – or it can be permissive – it can permit arbitration if all parties agree to arbitration when the dispute arises. One would think that the most important thing to make clear […]

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When Does An Arbitration Clause Require Arbitration?

Whether an arbitration agreement requires, or only permits, arbitration is a continuing issue under arbitration law. In building contracts, this issue often arises when the agreement states that arbitration will follow mediation or the involvement of the consultant on the project. The questions that can arise is whether arbitration is mandatory if mediation or the […]

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