Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) refers to the ways in which disputes can be settled outside the courts with or without the help of a third party. ADR encompasses a wide range of services including arbitration, mediation, neutral evaluation and references. Over the last two decades, ADR has gained widespread acceptance by lawyers, the litigating public and the courts as an efficient and cost effective way to resolve disputes.
Based on my experience and qualifications I am available to provide the following alternative dispute resolution services:
Mediation is a dispute resolution method that engages a neutral third party mediator to facilitate the negotiation of a settlement. Once reached, the agreement is private and confidential. Courts in Ontario have rules mandating that parties mediate their dispute before going to trial. In Ontario, mediations in commercial disputes are governed by the Commercial Mediation Act, 2010. Mediation has been used to settle a wide range of disputes including those I specialize in resolving including commercial, construction and trust claims.
Arbitration is a dispute resolution method enlisting one or more arbitrators to make a binding decision/award agreed upon by the disputing parties. The primary benefits of arbitration are the ability to choose an arbitrator who has a factual and technical understanding of the disputed matters and, that the proceedings and the decision/award remain confidential exclusively to the parties. In Ontario, domestic arbitrations are governed by the Ontario Arbitration Act, 1991 and international commercial disputes are governed by the International Commercial Arbitration Act. I provide arbitral services for a wide range of disputes including real time disposition of refusals and under advisements in examinations for discovery and cross-examinations, motions in pending civil actions as well as arbitration of commercial and other disputes.
In neutral evaluation, a party or parties present their side of a dispute and the neutral gives a written non-binding appraisal of the strengths and weaknesses of their case. This realistic evaluation helps parties understand the potential outcome of a dispute should it go to trial and is useful for determining how to proceed with a dispute. It is extremely important for the neutral to have the necessary skill and experience to evaluate the dispute in issue. My areas of expertise for providing neutral evaluation of disputes includes commercial disputes, construction lien disputes, construction breach of trust claims, intellectual property disputes (particularly relating to patent and generic drug products) and procedural issues including motions for summary judgment.
References are the court referral of part or the whole of a civil action for conduct and disposition by a referee. In some jurisdictions referees are referred to as special masters or magistrate judges. The jurisdiction of a referee is statute or court rules based and usually the parties can make their own choice of referee. Referees are empowered to make decisions on specific matters as referred to them by the court. In Ontario, construction lien claims referees are given statutorily the same authority as a Superior Court judge to decide lien claims whereas other references in civil actions are governed by Rule 54. In Federal Court, references are governed by Rules 153 to Rule 164. My experience as a Master includes conducting many references.