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

When Does The Limitation Period Start When A Party Repudiates A Contract?

You might think that there is one answer to this question. But in Pickering Square Inc. v. Trillium College Inc., the Court of Appeal for Ontario recently reminded us that there are two answers, depending on whether the innocent party accepts the repudiation or not. If the repudiation is accepted, then the contract comes to […]

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A Mediation Obligation Is Enforceable Says The Ontario Court Of Appeal

Is a person bound to mediate before commencing an action or arbitration if the contract or applicable statute requires mediation? Or should an obligation to mediate only become effective after an action or arbitration has been commenced? And if mediation is a pre-condition to suing or arbitrating, does the limitation period run before the mediation […]

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Ontario Court Has No Power To Extend Period For Setting Aside A Domestic Arbitral Award

In R & G Draper Farms (Keswick) Ltd. v. 1758691 Ontario Inc., the Ontario Court of Appeal recently held that an Ontario court has no power to extend the time for an application to review or appeal from a domestic arbitration award. This is an important decision for anyone involved in arbitrations, especially in light […]

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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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Can Someone Be Compelled To Arbitrate By Estoppel?

Can the conduct of the parties after they have signed a commercial contract influence the interpretation of the arbitration agreement contained in that contract? If they take one position during the performance of the contract with respect to whether a dispute is arbitrable, can they be estopped from asserting to the contrary when a dispute […]

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Same Court, Different Results: When Does The Limitation Period Start For An Arbitration Claim?

When does the limitation period start for an arbitration claim?  Can the very making of the demand start the period running?  Yes, the Ontario Court of Appeal recently said in Federation Insurance Co. of Canada v. Markel Insurance Co of Canada. In so deciding, the Court of Appeal seems to have reached a conclusion which […]

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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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When Does The Negotiation End And The Limitation Period Begin For An Arbitration Claim?

Arbitration  – Negotiations – Limitation Periods – Contract – Subcontract An arbitration clause in a contract may be written in a way that encourages the parties to settle their differences by negotiation and agreement.  But if the parties attempt to do so and fail, can one of the parties then say to the other:  “Gotcha! […]

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