Murray Miskin Arbitration Services

Murray Harrison Miskin, B.A., J.D.

Murray H. Miskin B.A., J.D. – Greater Toronto, Ontario Canada based Arbitrator and Arbitration Teacher

 

Murray Miskin is one of Canada’s most well known domestic and international arbitrators. He graduated Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto in 1979 and has been a practicing lawyer in Ontario, Canada since 1981 working mainly in civil litigation.  He became actively involved in conflict resolution through arbitration as a lawyer and trainer soon after his call to the Bar and has taught arbitration courses since 1985.  As a junior lawyer at a Toronto law firm in 1984, Murray Miskin was asked to develop course materials and teach an advanced arbitration course for the Arbitrators Institute of Ontario.  A similar course had not been offered for several years.  Murray Miskin developed a new course which became the model for arbitration training in Canada.  The Miskin courses were first taught at the University of Toronto through the School of Continuing Studies for the Arbitrators’ Institute of Canada which has evolved into the ADR Institute of Canada. He continues to be the primary arbitration instructor in Ontario for the ADR Institute Certified, “Comprehensive Arbitration Training Course” now offered annually in June in downtown Toronto. In 2014 additional specialized courses have been developed in Family Law Arbitration and Condominium Arbitration.  Those courses will be offered in 2015 with dates not yet scheduled.

Murray Miskin first acted as an arbitrator in 1987 when selected by two of his former students, who were experienced real estate brokers and arbitrators, to chair a three member arbitration tribunal for a commercial lease renewal rent dispute. Since then Murray has been arbitrator in a number of construction arbitrations, employment and other commercial arbitrations, and also family law, estate and environmental arbitrations.  In the mid 1990s Murray conducted his first international arbitration hearing in Toronto, after being appointed by the court in Florida to determine a franchise product contract dispute with a Florida based franchisor and a Canadian franchisee.

When the current Condominium Act for Ontario came into effect in 2001 bringing mandatory mediation and arbitration of all condominium disputes Murray became extensively involved in condominium arbitration.  His condominium litigation experience goes back to 1982 in a dispute over construction quality between the unit owners and the developers of 110 Bloor Street West in Toronto. Murray Miskin was ready to enter this new ADR field as soon as plans were made for mandatory mediation and arbitration of condominium disputes before the enactment of the Condominium Act of 1998 which became law in Ontario in 2001.  Between 1998 and and 2001 he presented seminars in the condominium industry about the new procedures and trained leading condominium lawyers in Arbitration. He went on to arbitrate many condominium cases since the Condominium Act was proclaimed.  Only one of his decisions was appealed with the decision fully upheld by the Judge hearing the appeal and again by the Ontario Court of Appeal which denied leave to appeal. Murray Miskin has arbitrated a great number of condominium disputes where he has applied his own personal experience as a condominium resident and three years as the first President of a large Toronto condominium’s Board of Directors.  He has recently been appointed to take over as arbitrator in a condominium dispute where the original arbitrator has been appointed a judge and had to withdraw from the case, creating a difficult transition requiring special skills from the new arbitrator.

Murray Miskin has organized a group of Ontario condominium ADR practitioners whose website is condoadr.ca    This group includes both senior, intermediate and junior arbitrators and mediators whose services are offered at three price levels to provide a comprehensive ADR panel for condominium disputes across the Province of Ontario.  The same panel is also involved in online dispute resolution (ODR).

Murray Miskin is getting international recognition and has won awards  in the field of arbitration, mediation and ADR, and is conducting more international commercial arbitrations. The international work includes arbitrator training in the Caribbean which is being planned with a course to be offered in Nassau Bahamas or in Trinidad under development.  Mr. Miskin was recently in Trinidad and Grenada taking steps towards building the Caribbean arbitration market.  He plans to visit Nassau in the Bahamas in 2015 where there are hopes of developing a major international arbitration centre.  He operates three Caribbean nation focused ADR websites adr.tc, adr.vc and adr.gd.  He attended the 2014 American Bar Association (ABA) dispute resolution conference in Miami as a representative of the Canadian Bar Association’s National ADR Section Executive, and is a Program Chair for the ABA annual dispute resolution conference to be held April 2015 in Seattle.  Murray Miskin is ready to travel as needed to conduct arbitrations or provide arbitration training. Our closest major urban centre for arbitration is Toronto, Ontario Canada where Murray regularly conducts domestic and international arbitrations and regularly offers his arbitration courses. The most recent course was in June 2014 and 2015 will mark 30 years of teaching arbitration.  Murray Miskin is a member of the Toronto Commercial Arbitration Society.

Call 416-492-0989 or toll free 1-877-428-8000 for further information about Murray Miskin’s ADR services and availability.

Murray Miskin Mediation Services


Let’s get to work and settle now.

Canadian lawyer and highly experienced mediator and arbitrator, Murray H. Miskin, after over 30 years of civil litigation trial practice is providing mediation services in insurance, personal injury and other civil litigation matters on a regular basis.  It really helps to have a mediator who has both the generic skills in mediation and the specialized knowledge and experience of the subject of the dispute for mediation.

In February 1998 Murray took comprehensive Mediation training at Osgoode Hall Law School and began to do work as a Mediator mostly with personal injury cases.  He went on to take advanced training from Christopher Moore of Boulder, Colorado.  He was in high demand on the Toronto Superior Court Roster of Mediators which he joined in 1999.  He left the Roster in 2003 when the demand for his services became too high to the point where it interfered with the law practice.  The Miskin law practice changed in 2012 to reduce the trial practice and eliminate real estate work. The law practice is now focused on work more on ADR.  Conflict resolution work such as mediation and arbitration has been given top priority in scheduling with flexibility in dates. This allows for mediation to be arranged where requested without a long wait for available dates.

Most of Murray Miskin’s work as a lawyer has been in the field of insurance law where he has over 30 years of experience.  He served as Chair of the Insurance Law Section of the Ontario Bar Association  from 2000 to 2001 and the National Insurance Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association from 2003 to 2004.  Murray Miskin is  ideally suited to provide insurance mediation services. He is recognized for his expertise in personal injury claims, which he now mediates on a regular basis.  Murray is the winner of an Acquisition International Law Firm Award for 2012 for his work as a personal injury mediator.  This award was for “Canadian Personal Injury Mediator of the Year”.  He also won the 2013 award for “Ontario Arbitrator of the Year”.

Murray Miskin offers hourly, half-day and full day rates for Mediation Services and does not charge for travel in the Greater Toronto area. He is also available with no travel expense charge for work in the Cobourg, Belleville, Kingston and Ottawa areas.  Work done outside of Southern Ontario and internationally will be billed for travel time and expense.   If you are looking for a highly skilled experienced lawyer to mediate a case you sometimes have to book up to a year ahead.  Murray Miskin has organized his schedule in a way that still keeps most of his time open for work on the law practice which now focuses on class action pharmaceutical cases and US asbestos trust claims brought on behalf of Canadians. This work has time flexibility so that mediations can be booked on short and medium term notice to accommodate the parties and their lawyers.  If you want to mediate within three months we guarantee we will find you one or more available dates.  We can usually book shorter term and have no problem booking dates over three months away if that what you are seeking.  CALL 416-492-0989 to discuss your mediation needs and to book a date.  Angela is our ADR coordinator.  Press 1 on our phone system to speak with Murray or press 3 to speak with Angela.

Canadian Personal Injury Mediator of the Year

Canadian Personal Injury Mediator of the Year

Ontario Arbitrator Training Course


There will be Arbitration courses in June 2013

THE  ARBITRATION COURSE OF JUNE 2014 HAS JUST ENDED. YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN SIGNING UP FOR A FUTURE COURSE. THERE WILL BE A COURSE THE WEEK OF JUNE 15, 2015 AND WE EXPECT THERE WILL BE ONE SOONER. YOU MAY SIGN UP FOR THE JUNE 2015 COURSE AND HAVE PRIORITY TO SWITCH TO AN EARLIER COURSE IF ONE IS SCHEDULED. THE FULL COURSE OUTLINE IS POSTED. COURSE FORMAT IS NOW ONE WEEK DURING BUSINESS HOURS. VIEW THE COURSE OUTLINE AND SCHEDULE.
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COURSE INFO:

Murray Miskin has been the principal trainer of arbitrators in Ontario, Canada since 1985. He teaches a 40 hour course which has been the standard for qualification of arbitrators in that Province. This program is not just for lawyers but it has been accredited on a renewal basis for 2014, by the Law Society of Upper Canada for all 3 required hours toward the annual Professionalism Requirement for lawyers with additional hours counting as 34.5 substantive hours, far more than the continuing education requirement. Students receive a Certificate from the ADR Institute of Ontario upon completion which reflects the minimum level of training to become a practicing Arbitrator member of the Institute. Graduates are also qualified to applied for the Q Arb designation from the ADR Institute which confirms that they meet the standard of “Qualified Arbitrator”. We encourage course graduates to join the ADR Institute and to take follow up courses and to get arbitration experience which adds to their qualifications. We have been asked about how to get work as an Arbitrator and confirm that marketing of ADR Services is a major element of the training. We see arbitration as an expanding area of conflict resolution and ADR service demand over the next several years. We are now offering Ontario courses in Toronto with a one week, Monday to Friday 9 to 5 format. The new format worked well in 2012, 2013 and 2015 and will repeat in June 2015.

FAQs answered: You do not need to be a lawyer or have any pre-requisite training to take this course, it is not required that you attend every class to pass the course, the content is applicable outside Ontario but is mostly based on Ontario laws which are similar to those of other Canadian jurisdictions, access to Toronto classes is easy by car or subway, no this is not labour or family arbitration but it will be discussed, yes there is work for Arbitrators and that work availability is expanding, and no there is not much homework or requirement to spend much time working on the course outside of classes. It is a 40 hour course meeting Ontario and national standards. An ADR Institute of Ontario Arbitration Certificate is provided to each student after graduation with no additional charge. Those who complete the course and wish to apply for Q. Arb status after joining the ADR Institute may do so at their own expense.

introduction:

The Comprehensive Arbitration Training Course as taught by Murray Miskin is the standard in Ontario for Arbitrator training. The course began thirty years ago in January 1985 organized by the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies for the Arbitrators’ Institute of Ontario. It was the official course of the institute until the process changed in 1997 to having approved courses for both arbitration and mediation. The Arbitrators’ Institute in the 1980s consisted mainly of engineers and others involved in the construction industry. The course originally was called Arbitration II and it was an advanced course of 25 hours instruction taught by Murray Miskin and offered to lawyers and experienced non-lawyer arbitrators. Others who wanted to take the course were required to take an introductory course of 25 hours instruction taught by Howard Levitt and later by Genevieve Chornenki called Arbitration I which provided basic legal and arbitration background. Arbitration II was taught by Murray Miskin until the spring of 1997 and was the course seen as qualifying persons to act as arbitrators in Ontario. That course was accepted by the Arbitrators’ Institute of Canada and its provincial branches in the late 1980’s as the Canadian model for such training. In 1997 the Institute which had grown much larger with the rise of mediation and mandatory mediation and arbitration starting in 1990 for auto insurance accident benefit claims. The Arbitrators’ Institute became the Arbitration and Mediation Institute of Ontario and changed the course structure for Arbitration to be more like the structure of its approved Mediator training with more practical exercises and small group activities. Murray Miskin continued teaching and also personally administered the new combined 40 hour course which replaced both Arbitration I and II. As the course included the Arbitration I requirements there was no longer a prerequisite for entry. The current course attempts to strike a balance between the needs of lawyers training to be arbitrators or counsel at arbitration and those of other professionals wanting arbitration training who also require legal procedure background that most lawyers already possess. Experienced litigation lawyers taking the course have commented positively on their learning experience in legal procedure and the benefits of discussion of issues by a group which includes both legal and non-legal perspectives. The course has been enriched by the added small group exercises in negotiation of arbitration agreements, challenging potential bias in an arbitrator and strategizing on a party’s behalf. The process of making a decision and backing it up with reasons is carefully explained. The highlight of the course continues to be a full arbitration hearing sometimes with a fire insurance claim defended on the basis of possible arson by the factory owner. The Arbitration and Mediation Institute changed its name to the ADR Institute of Ontario several years ago and continues its approval of this course for certificates which it issues. The Toronto course location at the Ontario Bar Association facility 20 Toronto Street is in easy walking distance of the subway and GO Train with lots of low cost parking in the area too. Lunch will be provided each day in addition to refreshments.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS – IS THIS ARBITRATION COURSE FOR YOU?

There is no specific pre-requisite for taking this course. Usually almost half of the students are lawyers, law clerks or law students with most of the rest being professionals or business people. Many students are accountants, engineers, architects or real estate brokers and appraisers. Many students are people who have retired or hope to retire but still earn good income from occasional work where they can apply the skills and experiences developed in their careers. Some of our students have been able to obtain full time jobs and even judicial appointments with this course being a qualifying factor. Many people are looking for a career change and arbitration may be a path to take if you have the right background or contacts to give you a reasonable chance of being selected as arbitrator Construction disputes are generally resolved by arbitration rather than court as are commercial lease renewal rent and other disputes. Ontario’s new condominium law took away the right to sue for disputes so that if mediation can not settle a dispute arbitration is the next step. There are many other areas where arbitration is becoming the primary method of resolving disputes which can not settle by mediation or other means. Arbitration is becoming more prevalent in family law disputes and we are working to get the next course certified as a qualifying course to meet the family arbitration standard required by the Attorney General of Ontario.  Please call Angela at the Miskin Law Office Extension 112 with questions or to submit your name to be contacted with further information. The course is also of great assistance as a skill and confidence builder for non-lawyer Mediators who require more legal training. For mediators who are not lawyers the course gives the legal background and understanding of civil justice geared to the ADR process which is required to become a roster mediator of the Ontario Courts. Special attention is given to the Courts of Justice Act and the Rules of Civil Procedure. Lawyers benefit by gaining an understanding of how non-lawyers deal with legal issues and situations which makes them better communicators. The classes, which mix lawyers and non-lawyers and people from vastly different backgrounds as students, challenges each student to take a different approach than they normally do in dealing with others. It is expected that Government and companies will make the course available to employees who need training to include or simply understand Alternative Dispute Resolution in their work.

Ontario Arbitration Course Outline

Arbitrator as Referee

As Arbitrator you can be the referee or be the Judge…

    The last Arbitration course was the week of June 16, 2014. That course will be held again the week of June 15, 2015. Classes in Toronto will be held Monday to Friday during the week of June 15-19, 2015 with daily classes running from 9 AM to 5:15 PM in a seminar format.   The course outline below is for the June 2014 class.  It is the up to date outline for  the course, which is approved for an ADR Institute Certificate as a 40 hour arbitrator training course and also qualifies those who complete the course for Arbitrator membership and the Q. Arb designation.

 Arbitrators are like private judges hired to decide a dispute. Arbitration course certificates from the ADR Institute are included in the registration fee as are all course materials, refreshments and five days of quality lunches. This program has been accredited again for 2014 by the Law Society of Upper Canada for 3 hours toward the annual Professionalism Requirement which is the total number of hours needed by Ontario lawyers, and for 34.5 hours going beyond the Substantive Requirement. There is no pre-requisite for taking this course and you do not need to be a lawyer to take it.  Please contact us if you are interested in a future course which will be scheduled soon.

JUNE 2014 ARBITRATION COURSE OUTLINE

1. Monday June 16, 2014, 9 AM to 5:15 PM

  • Distribution of Course Materials Book
  • Introduction to Course and Topics
  • Introduction to International Arbitration treaties and model law
  • Other forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Contrasting Procedures of Mediation and Arbitration. How they may and may not be used together.
  • Introduction to Ontario’s Arbitration Acts
  • ADR Organizations Ontario, Canada and International
  • Ontario Court Procedures and Process:
  • The Rules of Civil Procedure and the Ontario Evidence Act
  • Law of Evidence including Hearsay Rules
  • Contract Law
  • Principles of Tort
  • Assessment of Damages
  • Interest and costs

2. Tuesday June 17, 2014, 9 AM to 5:15 PM

  • Ontario Arbitration Act, Flexible procedures, opting out of provisions
  • Powers and Procedures under the Arbitration Act
  • Court Involvement in the Arbitration Process including interim applications, appointment of Arbitrators, stay of court proceedings, jurisdictional issues and matters of law, removal of Arbitrators, court powers preserved, Appeals and applications to set aside, enforcement of Arbitration awards.
  • Ontario law regarding religion based arbitration

3.  Wednesday June 18, 2014, 9 AM to 5:15 PM

Quick Review followed by TEST ON ARBITRATION ACT

  • Production and Discovery of Documents
  • Role of Oral Examinations for Discovery and the danger of delay
  • Pre-Arbitration Meetings
  • Mediation during the Arbitration process
  • Family Law Arbitration in Ontario
  • Statutory Powers Procedure Act
  • Interest on Arbitration Awards
  • Online Arbitration processes
  • The Arbitration Agreement, definitions and checklist for inclusion and further Arbitration Agreements during proceedings
  • Costs awards in Arbitration
  • Initial retainer of Arbitrator, conflicts reasonable apprehension of bias, communication outside of formal meetings and hearings, Arbitrator’s fee schedule, written agreements between the Arbitrator and the parties, qualifications of the Arbitrator, Errors and Omissions Insurance and negotiating and securing payment of Arbitrator fees
  • Use of Expert Arbitrator’s specialized skills and knowledge
  • Negotiating and drafting an Arbitration Agreement:
  • The class will divide in half and each half will take a side and negotiate the terms for a construction arbitration agreement. The instructor will assist both sides in their negotiation of an agreement
  • Lawyers meet prospective new sole Arbitrator and they discuss potential appointment, conflict issues and fee arrangements. Course materials will include background of parties and dispute, resume of arbitrator and other relevant documents.
  • Procedures in a formal arbitration hearing, variations and alternatives.
  • Group meetings to prepare for the Mock Arbitration

4.     Thursday June 19, 2014, 9 AM to 5:15 PM

  • The Role of the Expert Witness, Expert Reports,  Independence of the expert.
  • Role play where the class members will play the role of counsel in qualifying examining, cross-examining, re-examining, and arbitrators questioning of the expert witness.
  • Two sides meet to resolve procedural issues arising in the early stages of the hearing
  • Onus and burden of proof
  • Final Preparation for Mock Arbitration
  • Role Play for full class with Mock Arbitration. Flinders versus Mismo updated.  The Case of the Burning Factory. An insurance claim. Three students will play arbitrators while others in the class play the roles of parties, witnesses and Counsel teams. This will be a full hearing with evidence called following opening statements in the previous class, examination in chief, cross examination and re-examination of each witness. Closing Statements are given. Arbitrators give oral reasons for decision. Instructor comments.

5.    Friday June 20, 2014 9 AM to 5 PM

  • Completion of Mock Arbitration
  • Review of Various Arbitration Rules
  • International Arbitration, Ontario and Canadian Legislation plus international treaties and international associations
  • Auto Insurance Accident Benefit Arbitration
  • Ontario Condominium Arbitration
  • Onus and burden of proof
  • Marketing Arbitration and other ADR Service
  • Discussion of procedures in different types of Hearing including summary procedures, documentary hearings,online and video proceedings
  • Communication and relationship skills of arbitrator, dealing with different cultures and unequal positions of strength or knowledge. Applying fairness considerations. This will include discussion of faith based arbitration and the new regulation of family arbitration
  • Weighing evidence and reaching a decision
  • Preparing reasons for decision, writing awards, appeal and review considerations
  • Conclusions and farewell