Arbitration + Mediation FAQ

Arbitration + Mediation 
Frequently Asked Questions

Arbitration and/or Mediation are excellent options to help you solve your legal dispute.  See below for more information, and to explore some of the advantages of appropriate dispute resolution (ADR) processes.

At LETOURNEAU LLP, we can assist you to solve your dispute through arbitration or mediation for a variety of legal situations, including, but not limited to:
  • Domestic Contract disputes
  • International Contract disputes
  • International Investment disputes
  • Construction disputes
  • Workplace disputes
  • Wrongful dismissal disputes
  • Labour grievance disputes
  • Labour disputes
  • Custody or access disputes
  • Parenting time disputes
  • Matrimonial property disputes
  • Child support or spousal support disputes
  • Estate disputes
  • Landlord/Tenant disputes
  • Tort or personal injury disputes
  • Real estate disputes
  • Billing disputes
  • Intellectual property disputes
  • Sports disputes

What is arbitration?

The submission of a dispute to an unbiased third person designated by the parties to the controversy, who agree in advance to comply with the award—a decision to be issued after a hearing at which both parties have an opportunity to be heard.

What is mediation?

A settlement of a dispute or controversy by setting up an independent person between two contending parties in order to aid them in the settlement of their disagreement.

What are the advantages of arbitration?

Private and can be Confidential
Impartial and fair
Arbitrator makes the final decision rather than the parties
Opportunity to be fully heard
Not bound by rules or evidential requirements
Can be more cost effective than litigation
Can be more efficient than litigation
Lawyers are not necessary, but may be involved at request of parties
As binding as a court order
Flexible, including for scheduling, unlike courts
More readily available than courts
Can be more collegial
More informal process than court
Parties often report higher satisfaction with this process compared to court process
Limited avenues for appeal of the final award

What are the advantages of mediation?

Private and can be Confidential
Safe, neutral environment
The parties make the final decision or agreement
Preparation is more simple than for court
Lawyers are not necessary, but may be involved at request of parties
Focus is on needs and interests of the parties
Deals with the feelings of the party
Parties often report higher satisfaction with this process compared to court process
More informal process than court
You dictate what goes into the mediated agreement
Can be binding or non-binding

How much does an arbitration or mediation cost?

This really depends on the complexity of the case.  We offer flat fee or hourly billing options. We usually canvass the parties before providing a timeline or a quote for costs.  Some cases take two hours, some take multiple days.

Do I need a lawyer to enter arbitration or mediation?

No, this is not a requirement. However, as an arbitrator or mediator, we cannot provide legal advice to either party.

Can I force the other party to arbitration or mediation?

For mediation, you cannot ever force the other party, but rather can only encourage the other party to participate.  The same applies for arbitration, but often contracts have mandatory arbitration clauses and the courts will order that arbitration must occur before it can be heard by the court.

How binding is mediation or arbitration?

Mediation can be binding or non-binding - it is up to you.  Arbitration is as binding as a court order.

Should the arbitrator or mediator be a lawyer?

It is not a requirement, but many disputes benefit when the arbitrator or mediator have certain legal knowledge and background.  We cannot provide legal advice as an arbitrator or mediator, but we can provide information to assist in the discussion. 

How long does the arbitration or mediation process take?

This really depends on the complexity of your case.

What are the rules for mediations or arbitrations?

This is essentially up to the parties.  We discuss what the rules will be before the mediation or arbitration begins. An advantage is that the arbitrator or mediator are not bound by the usual rules of evidence of the courts.  Arbitrators may be bound by the Alberta Arbitration Act in some instances.  At our firm, we have basic rules, such as respect, no yelling or abusive language, speak one at a time, etc.  We will go over these with you.

Who pays the cost of the arbitration or mediation?

Sometimes parties choose to share the cost.  Sometimes they put this question in the arbitrator or mediator's hands.  We usually ask for a deposit before engaging in an arbitration or mediation.  We offer both flat fee and hourly billing options.

Where will the arbitration or mediation be held?

They can occur wherever the parties want.  We have two meeting rooms with accommodations for up to 10 people including the arbitrator or mediator.  If you want it somewhere else, we will need to be reimbursed for travel or any other associated costs.

What onsite facilities are available?

We have a meeting room that accommodates 4-5 people, and another meeting room that accommodates up to 10 people.  We also have a common lounge where some people like to do mediations with comfortable easy chairs.

What is a mediation/arbitration (Med/Arb)?

CIt is possible, if agreed upon by the parties beforehand to begin in mediation and attempt to come to a resolution, but if the parties cannot come to an agreement on any issues, then the mediator switches hats and runs an arbitration on the issues and writes a final and binding award.  We recommend that the parties have legal counsel when dealing with certain issues such as matrimonial property or spousal support.

What are the qualifications of your mediators and arbitrators?

Adam Letourneau, JD, CArb, CMed is a Chartered Arbitrator and Chartered Mediator.  He has arbitrated and  mediated a large number of disputes in a variety of areas, including labour, employment, family, contract and other areas.  He is contracted to hear unjust dismissal, grievance and wage recovery appeal cases by Labour Canada. He is a registered family mediator (RFM) and has conducted a number of mediations for the Provincial Court of Alberta and Family Services. 

Asif Muhammad is a practicing mediator, and has a variety of training in the area of mediation.  He mediates primarily in the area of family law and civil disputes.

Is mediation or arbitration suitable in all cases?

No, but most disputes are suitable.  Call us to discuss this question.

What happens if the other party does not honour the agreement or the award/decision?

There is recourse available in many instances.  It is best to speak to a lawyer about your options.

The information on this website is for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.
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