Court Jurisdiction Compatible with Mandatory Arbitration

In Pietrasz v. Eminata Group the BC Supreme Court rejected a dismissed employee’s claim that a clause giving the court exclusive jurisdiction over any disputes arising from the employment contract eliminated the requirement that all disputes arising out of the contract must be resolved by arbitration. The court said the employee’s interpretation was a possible, but not […]

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Punitive Damages in Arbitration

In Pietrasz v. Eminata Group the BC Supreme Court confirmed that arbitrators have jurisdiction to award punitive damages in bad faith claims. The claim arose under an employment contract following dismissal without cause. The court said the bad faith allegation and resulting claim for punitive damages arose from a second employment contract and “thus nothing alleged […]

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Settlement Privilege is Affirmed & Protected

The Alberta Court of Appeal in Bellatrix Exploration Ltd. v. Penn West Petroleum Ltd., 2013 ABCA 10 confirmed the importance of settlement privilege as one of the three classes of privilege (the others being solicitor-client privilege and litigation privilege). The public policy rationale for the rule is that “parties should be permitted to freely ‘put all their […]

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ALRI Affirms Principle of Party Control in Arbitration Act

The Alberta Law Reform Institute Final Report 103 “Arbitration Act” Stay and Appeal Issues” first recommendation is that reform of the Alberta Arbitration Act should respect the fundamental principle of party control as much as possible. The Report notes that the principle is a two-edged sword: “Arbitrating parties should not insist on party control when […]

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Arbitrate Unless Beyond Doubt

Edmonton Master Schlosser in CWL Commercial (Edm) Inc. v. Dynafour Real Estate, A Partnership, 2013 ABQB 545  says a respondent opposing arbitration should be required to show that it is ‘beyond doubt’ that the matter is not subject to arbitration in order to supplant the jurisdiction of the arbitrator and force the applicant into court. The arbitrator is […]

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Appeal and Set Aside Provisions: Arbitration Act

Chief Justice Wittmann eloquently explains the appeal (s. 44) and set aside (s. 45) provisions of the Alberta Arbitration Act in Capital Power Corporation v. Lehigh Hanson Materials Limited, 2013 ABQB 413. A sampling: S. 44 Under s.44(2), before granting leave to appeal, the Court must be satisfied: that the grounds of appeal constitute questions of law; […]

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