Construction, COVID-19 et Force Majeure au Québec

Contexte

Le 11 mars 2020, l’Organisation mondiale de la santé a officiellement déclaré que la COVID-19 était désormais une pandémie mondiale.

Le 13 mars 2020, le gouvernement du Québec a déclaré l’état d’urgence sanitaire sur tout le territoire québécois. Jusqu’à ce jour, l’état d’urgence sanitaire a été renouvelé jusqu’au 17 juin 2020.

Le 15 mars 2020, la juge en chef du Québec et le ministère de la Justice du Québec ont arrêté/ordonné de concert que les délais de prescription extinctive et de déchéance en matière civile étaient suspendus jusqu’à l’expiration de la période de la déclaration d’état d’urgence sanitaire.

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Virtual Hearings: Appreciate the Credibility of Witness at Remote Examination – WriteToLearn Notes

The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated, and accelerated the transformation from in-person hearings to virtual hearings of the court proceedings. With travel bans and physical distancing policy in place, the in-person hearing is becoming the exception rather than the norm in 2020. While an increasing number of court hearings are conducted remotely in some jurisdictions, some litigants and lawyers still object to a videoconference examination because they maintain that it is more difficult to appreciate the credibility of witness, especially witness’ demeanour remotely. The opponents argue that the remote examination reduces the chemistry that may develop between the counsel and the witness and further, it reduces the solemnity of the court proceeding (para. 39 of Arconti v. Smith2020 ONSC 2782).

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Virtual/Remote Arbitration Hearings Part III Points for Attention during the Virtual Arbitration Hearings

“The turning point in the lives of those who succeed, usually comes at the moment of some crisis, through which they are introduced to their ‘other selves’” – Napolean Hill

Q: During the hearing, can the participants turn on and off their microphones or their cameras randomly?

A: According to the arrangement of the tribunal, the participants could turn on and off their microphones in turns. For some hearings which involve more than 9 participants, the tribunal may consider to discuss with the participants to seek the agreement on turning off the non-speaking participants’ cameras in order to reduce the technical issue and to protect the tribunal’s concentration from unnecessary interruption. On the other hand, the tribunal assistant, the IT consultant and the court reporter may turn off their cameras with the consent of all parties during the hearing.

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Virtual/Remote Arbitration Hearings Part II – Pre-Hearing Preparation for the Virtual Arbitration Hearing

Q: How does the tribunal ensure that all the participants are familiar with the functions of the videoconferencing software?

A: Without a doubt, a great amount of time for preparation is required for virtual arbitral hearing.

First, the tribunal may make procedural orders, upon the agreement of the parties, on the following issues: (a) identifying which issues can be dealt with on “documents only” and which issues must be dealt with on virtual hearing; (b) issues of confidentiality for virtual hearing; (c) requirements of virtual caucus rooms for the tribunal members and each side in the case; (d) the minimum system specifications (such as document display, raise hand, mute, private chat functions etc.) and technical requirements for smooth connectivity, adequate visibility and lighting in each location; (e) the requirements of the equipment, such as computing devices, screens, webcams, headphones, microphones and internet capacity; (f) the preferred videoconferencing platform; (g) a list and the number of authorized participants and their time zones; (h) hearing procedure, especially the recording issue, the issue of witness and expert testimony (See Chandra v. CBC, 2015 ONSC 5385 and 9087-1195 Québec inc. (Développement Olicon) c. Syndicat de copropriété le Vénitien sur Rive2020 QCCS 1458); (i) the retainment of a single tribunal assistant or IT consultant to coach the participants on how to deal with the technical issues before and during the hearing; (j) the contingency measures to be implemented in case of technical failures; (k) timetable of the hearings; (l) how to make and deal with objections during the examination and cross-examination;

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Virtual/Remote Arbitration Hearings Part I – Definition and Application Scope of the Virtual Arbitration Hearing

“Grace is that turning point from feeling hopeless to becoming empowered.” – Deborah Brodie

COVID-19 is a public health crisis that is massively disrupting the pending dispute resolution proceedings and generating new disputes that may be more difficult to resolve due to the safety concerns and public health restrictions imposed by the governments. The arbitral institutions of different jurisdictions are taking practical measures to provide guidance and procedural tools to the parties, counsels and tribunals to mitigate the delays generated by the pandemic. It is acknowledged that the parties, counsels, tribunals and the institutions have shared common goal to make every effort to conduct the arbitration proceedings in a fair, expeditious and cost-effective manner. While the videoconference and the audioconference have been employed as a practical technological alternative in the resolution of trans-jurisdictional disputes for many years, more and more hearings for domestic disputes are being performed by videoconferencing these days due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there is no doubt that some practitioners and disputants insist on in-person hearings and that the virtual hearing is not always the most appropriate alternative in some specific circumstances.

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2020年5月28日,中国人大通过《中华人民共和国民法典》!中国从此正式进入“民法典时代”!The National People’s Congress of China adopted Civil Code on May 28, 2020.

加拿大魁北克省有一部让人引以为豪的魁北克民法典。现在,中国也将拥有一部为了“保护民事主体的合法权益,调整民事关系,维护社会和经济秩序,适应中国特色社会主义发展需求,弘扬社会主义核心价值观”的民法典了!该民法典将于2021年1月1日开始守护陪伴每位中国公民的衣食住行,婚丧嫁娶,生产经营,生老病死。

Continue reading “2020年5月28日,中国人大通过《中华人民共和国民法典》!中国从此正式进入“民法典时代”!The National People’s Congress of China adopted Civil Code on May 28, 2020.”

Commercial Mediation: A Dispute Resolution Process Full of Risks and Opportunities – WriteToLearn Notes

Since May 2020, I have been involved in some virtual dispute resolution events. One of the events are hosted by Mtre. Mendelsohn, a well-known pragmatic deal-maker with over 50 years’ experience in restructuring and insolvency law in Canada. Mtre. Mendelsohn has not only shared his recent experience on remote mediation via Zoom with us, but also talked about some techniques that he used to facilitate the negotiation among the parties in some complex and sophisticated dispute resolution process. The conversation with Mtre. Mendelsohn has inspired me to further my research on commercial mediation.

This article endeavours to summarize my research on the following subjects: 1. What is commercial mediation? 2. What is the role of commercial mediation in the entire dispute resolution process? 3. How can we prepare for the commercial mediation as a counsel?

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L’affaire Bisaillon c. Bouvier : Le « Résumé des ententes de médiation » pourrait-il être admissible pour prouver l’acte juridique d’une valeur de $1500 + ?

La qualification juridique d’un résumé des ententes rédigé par le médiateur fait l’objet de discussions dans la doctrine et la jurisprudence. Sa nature juridique (contrat ou non) variera selon les faits de chaque affaire. Dans l’affaire Bisaillon c. Bouvier, 2020 QCCA 115, la Cour d’appel du Québec conclut que le « Résumé des ententes de médiation » n’est plus qu’un simple écrit à titre témoignage (art. 2832 C.c.Q.), reflétant la compréhension qu’a le médiateur des éléments sur lesquels les parties se sont dites d’accord. Ainsi, le Résumé en soi n’est pas admissible pour prouver un acte juridique ayant une valeur de plus de 1500 $ (art. 2862 (1) C.c.Q.). Par contre, dans l’affaire Bisaillon c. Bouvier, les échanges de courriels et de chèques entre les parties survenus après la médiation constituent un commencement de preuve par écrit rendant le « Résumé des ententes de médiation » admissible pour prouver l’acte juridique (art. 2862 (2) et art. 2865 C.c.Q.).

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L’affaire Bisaillon c. Bouvier : L’exception du principe de confidentialité en matière de médiation familiale

Le processus de médiation est confidentiel. En principe, tant les parties que les tiers qui les assistent s’engagent à préserver la confidentialité de ce qui est dit, écrit, ou fait dans le cours du processus. Celle-ci est codifiée à l’art. 4 du Code de procédure civile du Québec.

Le privilège relatif aux règlements est une règle de preuve qui vise à favoriser les discussions franches et ouvertes entre les parties. La Cour suprême du Canada confirme que ce privilège de la common law fait partie du droit civil du Québec (Union Carbide Canada Inc. c. Bombardier Inc.2014 CSC 35). Le privilège relatif aux règlements nous rappelle qu’une communication qui a conduit à un règlement cesse d’être privilégiée si sa divulgation est nécessaire pour prouver l’existence ou la portée du règlement. Il s’agit de même d’une exception du principe de confidentialité en matière de médiation en générale.

Dans l’arrêt Union Carbide, la Cour suprême nous enseigne que, en matière de médiation, les parties peuvent par contrat se doter d’exigences supérieures pour protéger la confidentialité des communications au cours de médiation en écartant l’exception du privilège de confidentialité (paragrs. 29, 39 et 54 de l’arrêt Union Carbide). Dans la mesure où elles n’ont pas écarté contractuellement l’exception du privilège de confidentialité, les parties peuvent toujours mettre en preuve le contenu de ces échanges lorsque cela est nécessaire pour démontrer qu’une entente a été conclue lors du processus.

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加拿大魁北克法院如何尊重和保护商事仲裁的保密性 – 以79411 USA Inc. v. Mondofix Inc. 案为例

本文将介绍加拿大魁北克法院对79411 USA Inc.v. Mondofix Inc.案的判决。该判决能让我们了解加拿大魁省民事诉讼法及其他相关法规对商事仲裁的保密性原则的规定以及加拿大魁省法院对商事仲裁的保密性进行司法保护的具体措施。

(一)案例简介

79411 USA Inc.(Fix Auto)和Mondofix Inc.(Mondofix)之间因许可协议的续约问题产生纠纷。当事人双方曾依据魁省法律以及加拿大商业仲裁中心商业仲裁规则(Canadian Commercial Arbitration Centre General Commercial Arbitration Rules)签订仲裁条款。因此,Fix Auto和Mondofix通过仲裁程序解决了纠纷。仲裁裁决认定当事人双方的许可协议将续约至2027年。

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