L’affaire Caron c. Triviom : La procédure de nomination d’arbitre prévue dans la clause d’arbitrage est contraire à l’ordre public et nulle, mais le reste de la clause d’arbitrage demeure valide – #44

Les faits pertinents (Caron c. 7834101 Canada inc. (Triviom à Charlemagne ), 2020 QCCS 2859)

En janvier 2015, dans l’affaire Saindon c. Triviom (Saindon c. 7834101 Canada Inc., 2015 QCCQ 682), la Cour du Québec rejette une demande d’exception déclinatoire de la défenderesse Triviom parce que la clause d’arbitrage en litige est rédigée à l’avantage de Triviom en ce sens qu’elle contrôle l’identité et la qualité des trois arbitres possibles à solutionner le conflit. La Cour du Québec conclut que la procédure de nomination de l’arbitre est nulle parce qu’elle est contraire à l’article 2641 C.c.Q.

Triviom ne porte pas cette décision de la Cour du Québec en appel.

Le 14 avril 2017, malgré la décision Saindon, Triviom et Caron concluent le Contrat préliminaire de vente de condominium qui inclut la même clause d’arbitrage. Ce contrat a pour objet la construction d’une unité de condominium, livrable en novembre 2017. La clause 5.10 se lit comme suit:

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Evaluate the worldwide damages in the epidemic of defective computer graphic cards in the international sales of goods disputes – #40

I have participated in the 18th CIETAC Cup Commercial Arbitration Moot Competition as an arbitrator last week on a videoconference platform named VooV Meeting. It has been my great honour and privilege to sit with the experienced arbitrators and lawyers from different jurisdictions during this event. And we are glad to see that the students in China are able to plead the CISG related matters fluently in English and to answer our questions directly and effectively during their deliberations (See my one-minute speech as the Arbitrator of CIETAC Cup).

As you may already know, this year, the Problem concerns the applicability of United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (“CISG”) on the purchase and license agreement on the viral sectors for the production of vaccines against respiratory diseases, such as COVID-19. In the Problem, Claimant only requires the arbitral tribunal to declare the existence of a breach of contract of the Respondent as Claimant is not yet in a position, to exactly identify the specific remedy required. Out of curiosity, I have read a recent decision of Superior Court of Quebec to learn how the Quebec courts evaluate the worldwide damages in the epidemic of defective computer graphic cards litigation.

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The CISG Governs the Sale of Computer Graphic Cards Contract While the Quebec Law Determines the Weight to be Given to Evidence by the Court – #38

The China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) is hosting the 18th CIETAC Cup Commercial Arbitration Moot Competition in November 2020. I am going to participate in this online arbitration competition as an arbitrator. This year, the Problem concerns the applicability of United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (“CISG”) on the purchase and license agreement on the viral sectors for the production of vaccines against respiratory diseases, such as COVID-19. Out of curiosity, I have read a recent decision of Superior Court of Quebec to learn how the Quebec courts use CISG and domestic laws to decide “whether or not to award damages and, if so, for what amount” in the disputes arising out of a sale contract of the computer graphic cards between the multinational companies. The Court notes that while the CISG governs the sale of computer graphic cards contract, the rules applicable to evidence in this case are in the Book Seven of the Civil Code of Quebec.

Key Facts

In early 1998, the Plaintiff purchased the Defendant’s graphic cards for new Kayak and Vectra personal computers. The worldwide Business Desktop Division (“BDD”) of the Plaintiff operates primarily in Grenoble, France.

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Mazzetta v. Dégust-Mer: Quebec Courts Have Jurisdiction as the CISG Governs the Sales Contract of the Frozen Lobsters – #36

The United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) is designed to facilitate international trade and to remove legal barriers among Contracting States by providing substantive rules that regulate the duties and obligations of parties to a commercial transaction, such as the delivery of goods, contract formation, and remedies for breach of contract (See Preamble of the CISG). The CISG applies to contracts of sale of goods between parties whose places of business are in different Contracting States (See Art. 1 (1) (a) of CISG). As of October 2020, 94 states have ratified the CISG (See Updates on CISG). The USA is a signatory of CISG, which has been in effect there since 1986. Canada acceded to the CISG in 1992, and Quebec incorporated it into domestic law through An Act respecting the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, which has been taken into effect since May 1, 1992. In April 2011, the Quebec Court of Appeal ruled on the disputes between a Quebec frozen lobster seller, Dégust-Mer, and an American company, Mazzeta, the buyer who had failed to pay for the sale and delivery fees of frozen lobsters (Mazzetta Company, l.l.c. c. Dégust-Mer inc.2011 QCCA 717). This court decision reminds us that the governing law of this international sales of goods contract should be the CISG.

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La Cour se fonde sur la sentence arbitrale rendue après le procès pour déterminer la valeur en litige de la taxation d’un mémoire de frais – #34

Le jugement sur Langlois v. Langlois2020 QCCS 2959 nous enseigne que la « valeur en litige » au sens de l’ancien Tarif des honoraires judiciaires des avocats n’équivaut pas au « valeur du litige » . Il n’est pas nécessaire de trouver la valeur en litige dans les conclusions de la procédure. En effet, la greffière spéciale peut aller consulter « les procédures, les pièces, la sentence arbitrale après le procès etc. » pour déterminer cette valeur.

Les faits pertinents

Depuis 1987, trois générations de Langlois ont créé, établi, développé et investi dans l’entreprise familiale de transformation et de vente de crevettes, Crustacés des Monts inc. (ci-après « CDM »).

Depuis le début de l’année 2011, un conflit éclate entre les membres de la famille Langlois. Les demandeurs, Michel et Yvon, actionnaires minoritaires et administrateurs de CDM sont exclus et écartés de l’administration et de la gestion de CDM. Après avoir offert leurs actions à leurs coactionnaires pour un prix équivalent à leur juste valeur marchande, mais en vain, ils s’adressent à la Cour supérieure en vertu des articles 450 et suivants de la Loi sur les sociétés par actions (ci-après « LSA »), pour obtenir le rachat de leurs actions à leur valeur marchande. Les défendeurs demandent le rejet de toutes les conclusions recherchées dans la demande introductive d’instance.

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Mexico v. Burr: Judicial Review of Ontario Court on Investor-State Arbitration Tribunal’s Partial Award on Applicant’s Jurisdictional Objections – #30

This dispute arose between the United Mexican States and the United States of America nationals. The Respondents alleged that they suffered USD$100 million in damages when the Applicant closed down the casinos the Respondents had been operating in Mexico (The United Mexican States v. Burr, 2020 ONSC 2376). Attempts at settlement failed, the Respondents submitted their claims to arbitration according to Chapter 11 of the North America Free Trade Agreement between the Government of Canada, the Government of Mexico and the Government of the United States (NAFTA). The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) registered the claim to arbitration. Toronto, Canada was determined as the seat of the arbitration. In May 2018, the Tribunal held a five-day hearing on jurisdiction in Washington, DC as the Applicant insisted that the Tribunal did not have jurisdiction on this matter. The Tribunal dismissed all three of the Applicant’s jurisdictional objections in July 2019 ((B-Mex, LLC and Others v. United Mexican StatesICSID Case No. ARB(AF)/16/3)). Consequently, the Applicant brought this applicant to the Superior Court of Justice for Ontario for a declaration that the Tribunal had no jurisdiction or had limited jurisdiction to decide the claims before it.

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Daesung v Praxair: Non-Chinese Institutions Can Administer Arbitrations Seated in China

In August 2020, the Shanghai Court rules that if the parties have chosen a non-Chinese arbitration for an arbitration seated in China, as long as the arbitration agreement complies with other requirements within Article 16 of the PRC Arbitration Law, then the arbitration agreement is valid (Daesung Industrial Gases Co. Ltd. v Praxair (China) Investment Co. Ltd. [2020] Shanghai 01 Civil Special 83).

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Uber v Heller: The Reasoning by the Honorable Madam Justice Côté

Truth be told, I started using UberEats App to order food delivery after the Court of Appeal for Ontario’s decision on the Uber case (Heller v. Uber, 2019 ONCA 1). Although I like cooking very much, I have to admit that UberEats provides efficient food delivery service that allows me to save some time that I should have spent in the kitchen in order to immerse myself in my work and writing when necessary. The day when I downloaded the App to my cellphone as a consumer, I saw the Terms and Conditions that oblige me to refer a dispute to binding individual arbitration. I am conscious of the existence of the Terms and Conditions. And I disagree with it. But I still downloaded it and used this App because a) I was starving; b) I think the arbitration clause won’t apply to me, a Quebec consumer living at Montreal, who is well protected by the Consumer Protection Act, CQLR c P-40.1 (See Art. 11.1).

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Uber v Heller: The Arbitration Clause of Uber’s Services Agreement is Unenforceable and Invalid

Having determined that a court should resolve whether the arbitrator has jurisdiction over the dispute between Heller and Uber, the Supreme Court of Canada found that the Arbitration Clause of Uber’s Services Agreement is invalid. This Arbitration Clause is invalidated because it is considered unconscionable and detrimental to access to justice. Hence, this article discusses the unconscionability issue and the accessibility issue of the Arbitration Clause in Uber’s Services Agreement. 

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Uber v Heller: Only Superficial Review of the Documentary Evidence is Sufficient for the Court to Resolve the Issue of Arbitral Jurisdiction

The Supreme Court of Canada released the judgement on Uber Technologies Inc. v. Heller2020 SCC 16 on June 26, 2020. In an 8-1 ruling, the Supreme Court found that the Court has jurisdiction on determining the issue of the arbitrator’s jurisdiction in this case and that the Arbitration Clause between Uber and Heller is invalid. This decision has raised arbitration lawyers’ concerns and discussions these days. The Canadian Journal of Commercial Arbitration and Arbitration Place has organized a Webinar entitled “Uber v. Heller: First Impression” on July 3 at 12PM to discuss on this judgement. Mr. Daniel Urbas has also published a case comment on this judgement (See Supreme Court – courts should not refer jurisdiction challenge to arbitrator if real prospect that challenge might never be resolved)

This article discusses the Supreme Court of Canada’s majority reasoning on whether the Court can decide the challenge of arbitrator’s jurisdiction on the validity of the Arbitration Clause.

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