ARBITRATION -- MEDIATION

 

Joseph Wamback Q.Arb.

 Ph: 905-898-7472

Cell: 647-527-7472

Fax: 905-898-4353

email: joe@wamback.net

 

www.wamback.net

Areas of expertise

Business - General, Commercial, Construction, Contracts,

Employment - Wrongful Dismissal,

Government - Federal, Human Rights,

Insurance - Consumer/Product Liability

Property damage, 

Mediation,

Non-Profits and NGOs,

Public Utilities,

Real Estate and Property - Residential,

Restorative Justice,

 

About

 

Joseh Wamback is an experienced Resolution Specialist with a demonstrated history of working in construction, engineering and government platforms. 

His experience ranges from Forensic Consulting, adjudication in cross-cultural enviornments,  public Speaking, and management. 

He graduated civil engineering from Ryerson University and founded Wamback Corporation in 1984.

He successfully completed construction of over 10 million square feet of industrial, commercial projects in Ontario including the $250,000,000 North York City Center.

His business achievements include Forensic Engineering, High Voltage engineering and Design Build Construction.

He founded the Canadian Crime Victim Foundation www.ccvf.net to advocate for innocent victims of violent crime in Canada and created a National petition to change the Young Offenders Act which remains as the petition with the largest number of signatures in all of Canada. 

He created partnerships with York University and currently funds programs for residents of York Region who have been victims of violent crime to access qualified psychological counseling at no charge.

He is considered an expert witness and has presented briefs before the House of Commons and Senate Standing Committees and was instrumental in creating 9 amendments to the Canadian Criminal Code to create safer communities across Canada.

He is the author of the Canadian Victim Bill of Rights that was given Royal ascent in 2015.

  

History

 

 After many years at the senior level with the construction industry it became apparent that disputes were occurring more often and the litigation process was very expensive, costly and all conclusions became public knowledge. More and more corporations were now employing legal staff on a regular basis. In 2000 Joseph started a forensic consulting practice to assist clients with the task of creating an historical event trail to be used by litigants for settlement negotiations and trials. In 2006 he was appointed as an adjudicator for the Government of Canada.

In 2014 he became a qualified Arbitrator and Mediator to offer assistance and closure for anyone seeking to resolve disputes quickly and cost effectively and in a confidential manner. Joseph’s areas of expertise include Commercial and Industrial Construction, Wrongful Dismissal, Human Rights, Arbitration, Mediation, Negotiation, Non-Profits and NGOs, Real Estate and Property disputes, Restorative Justice issues and Victim Rights.

He has held and presided over 2000 adjudications, pre-conference hearings, arbitration's, negotiations and facilitation's.

He is the author of the Canadian Victim Bill of Rights and was instrumental in changing 9 criminal laws measures in Canada.

Joseph has volunteered as Chair of the Canadian Crime Victim Foundation, a Federally regulated charitable foundation and is the recipient of the Queens Golden Jubilee medal and the Queens Diamond Jubilee medal in recognition for his contributions to Canada. He has also received the Business Excellence award from the Newmarket Chamber of Commerce.

Joseph is available throughout Ontario.

AN OVERVIEW OF ONTARIO’S ARBITRATION ACT, 1991

 

PARTY AUTONOMY

The guiding principle behind Ontario’s Arbitration Act, 1991 (hereinafter the “Arbitration Act”) is party autonomy. Parties resolving disputes privately are able to design just about any process they want, subject to minimal Court oversight.

 

ARBITRATIONS IN ONTARIO

The Arbitration Act applies to domestic arbitrations in Ontario unless another act applies. For example, the Arbitration Act applies to family arbitrations where the Family Law Act also applies. But the Arbitration Act does not apply to labour arbitrations as the Labour Relations Act specifically states that the Arbitration Act does not apply.

 

DOMESTIC VS. INTERNATIONAL

Ontario’s International Commercial Arbitration Act applies to international arbitrations conducted in Ontario. Note that 2 parties located in Ontario cannot simply say their dispute is international in order to fall under the International Commercial Arbitration Act, the Arbitration Act will apply most of the time if both parties are in Ontario.

 

SPPA DOES NOT APPLY

With a few exceptions concerning evidence, the Arbitration Act is completely distinct from the Statutory Powers and Procedures Act. An arbitral tribunal established under the Arbitration Act is therefore not subject to the Statutory Powers and Procedures Act.

 

FLEXIBILITY

Parties to an arbitration can agree to exclude most provisions of the Arbitration Act, except for Scott v. Avery clauses (an agreement requiring arbitration before Court), equality and fairness, Court-directed time extensions, Court intervention in limited circumstances (see sections 46 and 48 for details) and enforcement of arbitral awards in Court. Arbitration agreements can be oral and can be amended by further agreement. Once a party attorns to the jurisdiction of an arbitrator, even if mistakenly, it is difficult to back out. If a party has committed to arbitration, any Court proceedings initiated by that party can be stayed.

 

ARBITRATOR

Parties can agree to arbitrate before any number of arbitrators. They can agree on a specific arbitrator or have one appointed by the Court. There are times when parties will want to appoint panels of multiple arbitrators with differing backgrounds, such as law and medicine. Arbitrators must be independent and impartial and disclose any circumstances that could give rise to a reasonable apprehension of bias. Arbitrators may be challenged for reasons of bias or a lack of necessary qualifications.

 

STARTING AN ARBITRATION

Arbitrations are commenced by one party serving a notice. Arbitral tribunals may rule on their own jurisdiction. They can determine procedure and the admissibility of evidence. An arbitral tribunal may appoint an expert if required. The arbitrator may issue a notice to witness, which has the effect of a summons. An arbitrator can administer an oath for a witness. AWARDS Arbitral tribunals must decide cases in accordance with the law, including equity and can order injunctions and other equitable remedies. Arbitral awards are binding and should be in writing with reasons, unless on consent. Awards may be amended within 30 days to correct minor errors or prevent injustices.

 

APPEALS OPTIONAL

An arbitration agreement can eliminate appeals, including appeals on issues of law. Appeals can be made to the court if the agreement is silent on appeals. Arbitration agreements can provide for an appeal on questions of fact or mixed questions of fact and law. There are limited grounds to set aside an award, such as legal incapacity, invalid arbitration agreement, an issue is beyond the arbitration agreement, the composition of the arbitral tribunal is not right, the subject matter is not capable of being arbitrated (such as criminal law), a lack of fairness, misconduct by the arbitrator, or an award is obtained by fraud.

 

ENFORCEMENT

Arbitration awards may be enforced by the courts and the courts must give a judgment recognizing an award, subject to a few limitations. Arbitration awards may include costs, including legal fees and the cost of the arbitration. Furthermore, interest can be awarded.

 

LIMITATION PERIODS

Limitation periods are at play in arbitrations. If for any reason a decision of an arbitral tribunal is set aside, the time period during the arbitration may not form part of the time in computing the limitation period.

 

CREATIVE ARBITRATIONS 

As indicated at the outset, much of the above is subject to party autonomy and parties can contract out of most of the Arbitration Act to determine their own process. This flexibility gives creative parties the opportunity to design an arbitration that will be fast, efficient and cost-effective.