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Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 100057
Experience:  Lawyer
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I have recently been through an arbitration in Calgary

Customer Question

Hi. I have recently been through an arbitration in Calgary Alberta. I feel the award was mixed success for us both. I got what I wanted as far as custody and child support but I was unsuccessful with some property issues. My ex and his lawyer came after me for costs and the arbitrator awarded $13000.00 AGAINST me!! I feel this is very unfair and it is 1/3 of my income. I have talked with a lawyer for advice and she said I could appeal the decision but that it probably wasn't worth it because it would likely cost me upwards of $50,000.00 to appeal. This seems so unfair since I have a legitimate case for appeal.
The arbitrator gave no explanation of how he arrived at the amount either. It's like he just picked a number out of the air. He said there were Schedule C costs and other fees. Do I have a right to know how he arrived at this amount and can he charge me for his time to provide me with an explanation. I feel the explanation should have been included in the award...which I had to pay for in the first place to give my reasons why I didn't feel like I should be responsive for costs.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

Unfortunately, the arbitrator essentially has the same authority as a judge as you agreed to that.

So you cannot make demands of the arbitrator anymore than you can of the judge.

The decision has been rendered and so your only choices are to appeal it or accept it.

You can self-represent for the appeal and not pay legal fees but if you lose the appeal then you will again be stuck with a chunk of your former spouse's legal costs.

One thing you may not have considered is whether there had been offers to settle. If there had been and these were submitted during the cost arguments then the explanation as to why the award went this way likely relates to the offers and not the mixed success.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There were no offers to settle. We did however have a written agreement at the beginning that I would pay 30% of the arbitration fees and my ex would pay 70%. The arbitrators reasons included that I spent too much time asking for specific safety related issues, ie: pertaining to alcohol consumption (ex is an admitted alcoholic), allergies which were being ignored and causing serious health issues for my oldest son(he's allergic to cats and the ex bought a cat after our separation), not allowing the children to ride on heavy excavation equipment (ex owns a demolition company).
All of these safer issues were granted to me in the arbitration award and to be included in the separation agreement.
Does the arbitrator not have to give reasons as to how he arrived at the $13,000.00???
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

No he doesn't and this is likely deliberate as it is harder to appeal when there are no reasons.

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