Following an email exchange with a group of lawyers concerned about the closure of the courts, Aaron Franks & Judith Nicoll prepared a model Litigation Management and Arbitration Agreement for a roster of arbitrators to do litigation management for family law cases at a reduced rate.

Through an arbitration agreement users can refer procedural issues to arbitrators who have agreed to proceed in a summary fashion to render awards on things such as scheduling, exchange of pleadings, and disclosure.  As all such awards of this nature are “interim”; they are not subject to appeal.

The model is geared towards family clients who have lawyers and who want to get their cases ready for court resolution once courts resume full operations.  

There are a couple of considerations before you get involved whether as a volunteer or as a participant:

  1. The parties must be screened before the arbitration.  Because it is an arbitration only, the arbitrator cannot do the screening personally.
  2. The lawyers who act for the clients conduct the screening themselves, or arrange for it to be done.
  3. The success of this program depends upon the lawyers and their clients buying into to the terms of the agreement with respect to types of issues, timing and cost.  The arbitrators need to fulfil their obligations by adhering to the hourly rates and expectations as to when awards will be received.  As the process involves a reduced hourly rate for everyone, it is important that lawyers using the service are respectful of its limits and the benefits that their clients are receiving through this service.

View the roster of arbitrators who have agreed to conduct these arbitrations.

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