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What is Arbitration in Alberta?

Arbitration is a way of resolving disputes between parties. In our practice we often see arbitration provisions in construction contracts as well as shareholder disputes. In Alberta arbitrations are governed by the Arbitration Act, RSA 2000 c. A-43.

Arbitration involves having private arbitrators, paid by the parties, decide disputes.

Advantages of Arbitration

Arbitration awards can be confidential as opposed to decisions of the Courts which are published. Arbitrations can, simplify and shorten the court process.

Disadvantages of Arbitration

Arbitration can be expensive, since parties often have to pay their own lawyers as well as the arbitrators. Arbitration can be somewhat unpredictable, since they are not governed by the same procedural rules as courts and not as bound by precedent as the courts are.

Arbitration can be complicated as well. If notice of arbitration is not given when it should be, and a party mistakenly sues in the courts, parties can sometimes lose the right to arbitrate and also have their case tossed out of the courts, thereby losing their remedies altogether.

The Alberta Court of Appeal in the case of Stuve v Stuve, 2020 ABCA 467 said that the Alberta Rules of Court do not allow a Court of Queen's Justice to order parties to private arbitration without consent of parties or an agreement.

If you have a question about arbitration or need representation for an arbitration, please feel free to contact us.

The information contained in this article is not legal advice. No solicitor client relationship is formed through this article. The reader is encouraged to retain counsel for advice in these matters.

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