Arbitration class

Learning arbitration can be fun. Really!



We work hard to make learning Arbitration fun.  It is easier to learn when you are not suffering from boredom or brain overload with dry detailed material.  Somehow we have managed over the years to make our arbitration training classes interesting and a few students have even called it “exciting”.  Our course is a generic arbitration course which qualifies students for being arbitrators in a wide range of disputes and helps lawyers and others understand and be comfortable working in an arbitration process.  Arbitration is a method of deciding disputes in a private forum which works very differently from court.

It is not Labour Arbitration, but Labour Arbitrators have found the course very helpful for learning arbitration skills and better understanding their role as arbitrators.  The next  Ontario Arbitrator Training course will be held at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in downtown Toronto in the Yonge and King Street area.  The hotel is at 8 Colborne Street and rooms/suites are available for students at a reduced rate.    Classes include a working gourmet lunch each day with the cost of meals, refreshments and course certificates from the ADR Institute of Ontario included in the course registration fee.

The classes in 2017 will include a  Friday Mock Arbitration hearing. A Mock Arbitration is where the students take over the class for most of the day.  A Mock Arbitration is a simulated full arbitration hearing.  Some students play parties and witnesses including expert witnesses.  Some are arbitrators on a panel of three and the rest play lawyers who question witnesses and make legal argument to the Arbitration Tribunal who attempt to control the proceedings with a gavel as their only weapon.  Gavels are not used in Ontario Courts but they are used in Arbitration. The arbitrators give their decision with reasons the next morning at the final class.  The course instructor Murray Miskin provides critical feedback after the Mock Arbitration is over.  Some students play legal counsel, some are witnesses and some are Arbitrators.   Role assignments will be based on student requests and the instructors efforts at balancing the proceedings so either side has a good chance of winning the case.

The course will include all required content as approved by the ADR Institute of Ontario for Arbitrator membership and Certification and by the Law Society of Upper Canada for CPD credits for lawyers and paralegals.  The course has been approved again by the Law Society for CPD credits being 3 hours of Professionalism and 35 hours 45 minutes substantive. We are also including material related to Family Law as arbitration is now playing a greater role in Ontario Family Law.    Graduates will be qualified (subject to an online ethics test) to apply for the Q. Arb designation of the ADR Institute of Canada which is recognized nationally.



Arbitrator as Referee

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

    The last Arbitration course was the week of June 16, 2016.  The course outline below is from an earlier class and will be updated.  It is the approximate 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 reviewed and accredited again in 2016 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 35 hours 45 minutes 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.


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
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