Arbitral Immunity: Court Confirms that Arbitral Immunity Applies to Any Action Challenging the Conduct of Arbitrators and Extends to the Arbitration Institutions that Administer Arbitration Services – #71

This post aims to summarize the reasoning of the Honorable Mark Phillips, j.c.s. on B Smart Technology Inc. c. American Arbitration Association, 2022 QCCS 1526

Background 

Plaintiff, B Smart, is a Québec company domiciled in Montreal which signed a Sales Agent Agreement with the Mise-en-cause Norstan, an American company domiciled in the State of Texas on October 3, 2007.

The Sales Agent Agreement contains an arbitration clause which provides that all disputes and claims arising out of or relating to this Agreement that are not settled by agreement of the parties shall be arbitrated according to the Commercial Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration Association (hereinafter “AAA”). 

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British Columbia Court of Appeal Emphasizes that Arbitrator’s Interpretation Should Remain Grounded in the Text of the Contract – #70

This post aims to summarize the analysis of the British Columbia Court of Appeal’s recent decision on Grewal v. Mann, 2022 BCCA 30. By dismissing an appeal of an order granting leave to appeal an arbitral award, the British Columbia Court of Appeal reminds us that in interpreting a contract, the arbitrator must not permit the factual matrix to “overwhelm” the words of the contract

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L’affaire Résidence Ville-Marie : La demande de l’annulation ou la révision d’une décision rendue par le CIUSSS Ouest doit être référée au tribunal d’arbitrage — # 69

Cet article vise à résumer le jugement rendu par l’honorable Monsieur le juge Barin, j.c.s. le 23 février 2022 concernant une demande en exception déclinatoire de la défenderesse fondée sur une clause d’arbitrage dans l’entente particulière intervenue entre la Résidence Ville-Marie («Résidence») et le Centre Intégré Universitaire de Santé et Services Sociaux de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal  («CIUSSS Ouest») (Résidence Ville-Marie c. Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, 2022 QCCS 591). La Cour nous enseigne que le différend soulevé par la Résidence doit être référé à l’arbitre. La question à savoir si la Décision du CIUSSS Ouest est une décision administrative non susceptible d’appel ou de contestation est en fin de compte une question mixte de droit et de fait qui nécessite plus qu’un examen superficiel de la preuve documentaire au dossier. 

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The Québec Court of Appeal Emphasizes that Allowing Late-Raised Legal Argument during the Trial Does Not Conform with the Cooperation and Transparency Requirements Stipulated in Art. 99 C.C.P. – #68

This post aims to summarize part of the analysis of the Québec Court of Appeal’s recent decision on KPH 11 v. Richardson Wealth Limited (Richardson GMP Limited) 2022 QCCA 148.

Factual Background

The appellants are sophisticated investors. The Respondent is a securities firm. The individual appellants had different relationships with the Respondent. 

Robert Hirsch was a client of the Respondent, having opened a margin account to trade options in November 2011. 

Robert Hirsch is the father of the other individual appellants, Derek, Kenneth and Andrew Hirsch. 

KPH 11 L.P. is a limited partnership set up by the Hirsches family in July 2013. KPH 11 L.P. became a client of the Respondent in or around July 2013.

9155-8742 Québec inc. (“9155”) is a general partner of KPH 11 L.P.  Andrew Hirsch signed his name on the New Client Application Form on behalf of 9155. The Respondent believed that Andrew was a personal guarantor, and that 9155 was also a guarantor. Otherwise, he would not have accepted the Application. However, Appellants alleged that Andrew did not sign the New Client Application in his personal capacity and that 9155 was the only guarantor. 

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L’affaire Specter Aviation : L’article 3152 C.c.Q. ne vise pas exclure la procédure arbitrale et la reconnaissance de la compétence d’un tribunal doit être faite de façon claire et évidente — # 67

À la suite du jugement rendu par l’honorable Monsieur le juge Bachand qui a accordé la permission d’appeler (Specter Aviation c. Laprade2021 QCCA 183), en décembre 2021, la Cour d’appel du Québec a rendu le jugement accueillant l’appel (Specter Aviation c. Laprade, 2021 QCCA 1811). Cette décision de la Cour d’appel nous enseigne que (1) l’article 3152 C.c.Q. vise à définir les limites de la compétence internationale des autorités judiciaires du Québec, mais n’entend pas exclure le processus d’arbitrage; (2) la reconnaissance de la compétence en matière de conflit de juridictions doit être faite de façon claire et évidente, et chaque cas sera un cas d’espèce.

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L’affaire Gree Electric Appliances of Zhuhai: Les parties sont renvoyées au processus d’arbitrage devant être tenu en Chine à cause d’une clause compromissoire parfaite dans le contrat de commission — # 66

Cet article vise à résumer un jugement rendu par la Cour supérieure du Québec, district de Longueuil en 2017 concernant une demande en exception déclinatoire fondée sur une clause d’arbitrage dans le Contrat de commission (7847866 Canada inc. c. Gree Electric Appliances Inc. of Zhuhai, 2017 QCCS 1723). Le contrat accorde à la demanderesse la distribution exclusive de produits de climatisation de la défenderesse pour l’ensemble du Canada avec utilisation de la marque de commerce « Gree », qui est bien connue en Chine comme « 格力电器 ».

Cette décision nous rappelle que 1) en employant le verbe « renvoyer » à l’article 622 du Code de procédure civile du Québec (ci-après « C.p.c. »), le législateur du Québec a signalé que le tribunal n’a aucun pouvoir discrétionnaire de refuser de renvoyer l’affaire à l’arbitrage à la demande de l’une des parties, lorsque les conditions requises sont remplies ; 2) une clause d’arbitrage est une clause  compromissoire parfaite, lorsque la clause prévoit que les parties s’obligent à l’avance à soumettre à l’arbitrage les litiges qui pourraient naître relativement à leur contrat et implique que la sentence rendue sera finale et liera les parties (Zodiak International c. Polish People’s Republic, [1983] 1 RCS 529).

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The Recognition and Enforcement of a CIETAC Arbitral Award in Canada: China Yantai Friction Co. Ltd. v. Novalex Inc., 2021 ONSC 7714 – #65

While the Omicron variant of COVID-19 spread continues, I have spent most of my time at home reading books, cooking delicious and healthy food, playing the piano and doing workout during the Christmas holiday. Of course, I watch Netflix from time to time. One day, when I was surfing the web, I read a recent Ontario Superior Court of Justice’s decision on the recognition and enforcement of a CIETAC arbitral award (China Yantai Friction Co. Ltd. v. Novalex Inc., 2021 ONSC 7714). I would like to share my case summary of this court decision here. I believe the readers would be happy to learn from this post that a) a foreign arbitral award creditor will not be ordered by Canadian courts to post security for costs simply by virtue of being a non-resident seeking to recognize and enforce an arbitral award in Canada; b) Canada is a country with arbitration-friendly jurisdictions and the Canadian courts respect the principles of international arbitration and cherish their relationship with the courts and tribunals of other countries (See also Specter Aviation c. Laprade, 2021 QCCA 1811).

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Quebec Court of Appeal Confirms that Trial Judge is Right to Refer the Matter to Arbitration Because the Arbitration Clause Intended to Apply in Quebec Prevails and the Contra Proferentem Rule Does Not Apply Here – #64

While the contractual interpretation generally constitutes mixed questions of fact and law, the interpretation of a standard-form contract would be considered as a question of law when there is no meaningful factual matrix that is specific to the parties in dispute to assist the interpretation process and the interpretation would have presidential value (para. 24 of Ledcor Construction Ltd. v. Northbridge Indemnity Insurance Co., 2016 SCC 37). This article aims to summarize the Quebec Court of Appeal’s decision on a declamatory exception claim based on the ambiguous dispute resolution clauses in a standard-form insurance policy (9369-1426 Québec inc. (Restaurant Bâton Rouge) c. Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Company, 2021 QCCA 1594). Having studied the insurance policy in dispute and numerous Supreme Court of Canada and Quebec Court of Appeal decisions as well as doctrines on arbitration and contractual interpretation, the Quebec Court of Appeal confirms that the trial judge is right to refer the matter to arbitration and that the arbitration clause should be interpreted in a large and liberal manner (para. 13 of the Decision)

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The Arbitration Proceeding was Suspended with regard to the Non-signatories to the Arbitration Agreement Until Final Judgments on Judicial Review Applications are Rendered – #63

Some readers and friends write to me these days asking if I will continue sharing articles on the case laws. Indeed, in the past few days, although I have been reading court decisions on daily basis for work and leisure, I did not share my summary and analysis of the case laws here.

In the past few days, I moved from my previous apartment in downtown Montreal with serious construction issues (the construction noise sometimes starts at 7 a.m. since May this year) to a cozy condo with beautiful view and kind neighbours in Town of Mount Royal. In the past few days, I managed to facilitate the communications between my clients and the opposing parties in some family files so that they reach consent for the best interests of their children and move forward in their life with peace of mind; In the past few days, I managed to prepare legal proceedings for a Court of Appeal case on private international law, which I received the mandate two days before the deadline (big thanks to the teamwork); I also handled a few pre-trial examinations in French and some negotiations in English for some civil files; Besides, I have appeared in front of the Municipal Court to help the client to get his justice etc.

In November and December, I will participate in the 19th CIETAC CUP as an arbitrator again. And I am taking more trainings on arbitration organized by Barreau du Québec in the coming days. Apparently, thanks to the readers’ comments and support on my website, I would love to continue publishing more summary and analysis of the case laws here so that I could build up connections with experienced lawyers in Quebec and with jurists from different countries and jurisdictions.

This post aims to summarize the analysis of Mr. Justice Lukasz Granosik, j.c.s.  on Mullen c. Nakisa inc., 2021 QCCS 4388. It is worth to mention in the very beginning that this legal proceeding is governed by Art. 530 (2) C.C.P. i.e. an application for judicial review of a decision made by an arbitrator during a case management conference on July 30, 2021.

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L’employeur est responsable des actes discriminatoires posés par son employé — # 62

Le 16 juillet 2021, l’honorable Monsieur le juge Doris Thibault du Tribunal des droits de la personne accueille partiellement la demande en dommages moraux et dommages punitifs pour des propos discriminatoires fondés sur l’origine ethnique à l’endroit du demandeur posés par l’employé du défendeur. Le Tribunal condamne solidairement l’employé et l’employeur (« les défendeurs ») à verser le demandeur 3 000 $ à titre de dommages moraux. En outre, le Tribunal condamne l’employé à verser 800 $ au demandeur à titre de dommages punitifs. Cet article vise à résumer les faits et l’analyse du jugement sur Pena c. Poirier2021 QCTDP 29 (CanLII).

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