270 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 76 PART 2 MARCH 2018
process, or the failure of a particular arbitration, to meet “the promise of
arbitration” is due to failures by one, or both, of the others. Often it is heard
that an arbitration cost as much (if not more) than court litigation, took as
long or longer, and was determined by an arbitral tribunal that did not
understand the applicable industry, area of law, or both.
Marvin J. Huberman, the editor of a new Canadian book, A Practitioner’s
Guide to Commercial Arbitration, sets out his goals for the book as follows:
I hope this book will (1) dispel the notion that one size fits all in dispute
resolution, especially in commercial arbitration, (2) evoke a greater interest
in commercial arbitration and help move us toward full realization of
its promise as a means of effective dispute resolution, and (3) serve as a
practical guide for all those who have an interest in or are passionate
about commercial arbitration.
The book achieves these goals.
Importantly, it provides an opportunity for parties, counsel and arbitrators
in B.C. and across Canada to make fundamental changes in their
approach to arbitration that should go a long way toward enabling them to
achieve the promise of arbitration. The book articulates how to approach
and conduct an arbitration to achieve arbitration’s potential, or at least to
maximize the chances of doing so.
Huberman and his all-star “team Canada” contributors to A Practitioner’s
Guide to Commercial Arbitration, among the most knowledgeable and experienced
arbitration practitioners in Canada, have produced a book that
should enable parties, counsel and arbitrators to obtain the promised benefits
of arbitration. That is, if they understand, take to heart and apply the
essential knowledge and wisdom set out in this book’s pages.
One of the authors, Vancouver arbitrator and counsel Ken McEwan, Q.C.,
reminds readers that “a successful arbitration is one that is resolved
according to a fair process and one whose result reflects the informed and
deliberate consideration of the dispute by a tribunal having the necessary
expertise to appreciate its particular nuances”.
A Practitioner’s Guide to Commercial Arbitration outlines clearly and concisely
the applicable law (including in chapters by Anthony Daimsis and
Marina Pavlovic, Graeme Mew, J. Brian Casey, and Harvin Pitch and Lucas
Kittmer, with the citation of some five pages of authorities). But it goes
Various authors articulate their wisdom on achieving arbitration’s potential.
While each of them expresses his or her advice in somewhat different
words and in his or her own style, there is a strong common theme and
teaching, leading persuasively to the conclusion that to achieve arbitration’s
promise, a different mindset and different approaches and practices are