Arbitration is an alternative process of resolving disputes between parties without reference to a court of law.
Arbitration is based on the belief that a large majority of disputes between parties which cannot be settled between the parties themselves can still be resolved satisfactorily and in an amicable manner without reference to a court of law.
John Benesh provides arbitration services. John has received training through the arbitration and mediation Institute of Alberta, CDR Alternate Dispute Resolution out of Boulder Colorado. John is a member of the ADR Institute of Saskatchewan. John has presided over and written numerous arbitration decisions for over 12 years. Prior to conducting arbitration matters John has acted as a mediator for over 21 years. John is a lawyer registered with the Law Society of Saskatchewan having obtained a degree in law in 1982. John also has degrees in business from the college of Commerce and in economics from the college of Arts and Science from the University of Saskatchewan. John has also attended French immersion program in Chicoutimi, Québec.
Arbitration is designed to be less expensive and more prompt than reference to a court law.
For the success of arbitration the arbitrator must be, and appeared to be seen as, impartial and independent of the parties to the dispute. The arbitrator is to treat the parties to the dispute fairly and impartially and render an award impartially, without bias, and in good faith.
Appointment as an arbitrator is by contract. Fees and expenses are handled in accordance with the schedule accompanying the contract.
The arbitration is conducted in accordance with the Arbitration Act, 1992 of Saskatchewan and the contract between the parties with the arbitrator. And award is made by the arbitrator in accordance with the Act and the agreement.
Arbitration is to be confidential except to the extent necessary in connection with the court action relating to the award, or as otherwise required by law.
Commercial arbitration in Saskatchewan is governed by The Arbitration Act, 1992 c A-24. There are no commercial arbitration rules of Saskatchewan per se.
The Arbitration Act, 1992 sets out the procedure followed in Saskatchewan.
Where the agreement does not specify the number of arbitrators then the dispute is to be determined by one arbitrator.
We typically suggest that the party wanting to initiate the arbitration finds a qualified and independent person to serve as arbitrator. We assist in drafting written notice to the other parties of the qualifications and independence of the person and in articulating in writing the issue that is in dispute.
The other party has seven days in which to respond. If the party does not respond then we assist in making application to court to appoint the arbitrator. The other parties may challenge the arbitrator on the basis of qualification or reasonable apprehension of bias within 15 days of becoming aware of the qualifications and bias.
The court is not involved except to assist in conducting the arbitration, to ensure the arbitration is conducted according to the agreement, to prevent unequal or unfair treatment of the parties and to enforce awards. There are times that we are involved in assisting a party with an application to court to stay any court proceedings.
The arbitrator makes the rules for conducting the arbitration which generally include but are not limited: to ensuring the arbitration is equal and fair; to ensuring that an opportunity is given to the parties to present their case and respond to the other party's case; to setting down the place and time for determination of the issue in dispute; to requesting a statement of facts and documents as well as oral hearing of evidence and expert reports.
The arbitrator may appoint an expert and ask the parties to submit the relevant information to the expert appointed by the arbitrator.
The arbitrator may during the course of the arbitration mediate a potential settlement. If settlement does not take place the arbitrator can continue the arbitration without disqualification.
The arbitrator decides dispute by a written award.
A party may request an explanation of the award within 30 days of receipt of the award.
The arbitrator may make corrections to the award within 30 days of making the award.
A party may appeal to the court of Queen’s Bench in Saskatchewan SOLEY on the basis of law or mixed law and fact. The appeal must be made within 30 days of the date of the award. Generally speaking the court reviews jurisdiction and law and defers to the arbitrators findings of fact unless the findings are not supported by evidence.
A party may enforce the award after 30 days. Enforcement includes registering the award in the courts, personal property registry, seizure and sale of property or garnishment of bank accounts or wages.
There are many other rules and procedures which may come into play, however this message is simply to set out some basic information. The legal team at our office handles many different issues involving arbitration.