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

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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Is A “May Arbitrate” Clause Mandatory Or Permissive?

What is the meaning of an arbitration clause which states that a dispute “may be determined by arbitration”?   Does the clause mean that the arbitration process is permitted but not mandatory?  Or does the word “may” mean that the parties do not have to have a dispute, but if they do, the arbitration clause applies? […]

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Does A Mediation Agreement Suspend The Limitation Period Or The Period To Set Down A Lien For Trial?

An agreement to mediate is often found in arbitration and building contracts. Yet, the impact of mediation upon court or arbitral proceedings is uncertain. Does an agreement to mediate mean that, until the mediation occurs, there is no cause of action and therefore there is no entitlement to commence arbitration or an action?  In that […]

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Remember Rainy Sky: The Commercially Sensible Interpretation Prevails

Every once in a while, an important decision comes along which should be put in your hip pocket so that it can be pulled out when needed.  Rainy Sky S.A. v. Kookmin Bank is such a decision.  In this decision, the U.K. Supreme Court (formerly the House of Lords) recently held that if there is […]

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The Limitation Period Quagmire Between Litigation and Arbitration

The limitation period is a vexing issue to any party involved in a commercial dispute.  This truism applies even more to construction disputes because there are a variety of events that may trigger the beginning of the limitation period.  The limitation issue becomes even more vexing when the proceeding can be either:  by way of […]

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Arbitration Appeal Rights: Think About Them Before Signing A Contract

Owners and contractors will normally insert an arbitration clause into their contract. When they do so, they rarely consider their rights of appeal from an arbitral award. The recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal in Kingsway Insurance Company v. Gore Mutual Insurance Company provides a good opportunity to develop a strategy towards appeal […]

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Have You Chosen The Right Forum For An Arbitration?

Arbitration – Appeal My article on May 24, 2011, on Arbitration Appeal Rights: Think About Them Before Signing A Contract, dealt with the rights of appeal from arbitration awards. That article made reference to the appeal rights from arbitration awards in most Canadian provinces, but did not deal with the province of Quebec. This article […]

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