New resource published for commercial arbitrators

By Mia Clarke, Associate Editor

Toronto litigator and commercial arbitrator Marvin Huberman says his new book should appeal to a wide range of lawyers in the field of commercial arbitration.

“It’s one-stop shopping for anyone interested in commercial arbitration at any level,” he tells

The book, A Practitioner’s Guide to Commercial Arbitration, was recently launched at Arbitration Place in Toronto and is available online through Irwin Law.

“It’s a practical, hands-on book with good tips, tactics and techniques. It’s got checklists, precedents, a resource centre and a table of cases,” says Huberman.

“I don’t think there’s anything else like that out there — certainly not in Canada and not for domestic commercial arbitration. There are big fat textbooks available for international arbitration, but they’re hard reads.”

The book is the culmination of Huberman’s 20 years of experience in alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Since getting his master of laws degree in ADR, Huberman has watched the industry evolve. He says arbitration now looks much like a trial after “assimilating all kinds of litigation practices and tactics.”

Huberman points to the increase in discoveries, which — particularly in the international arbitration world — was previously unheard of.

He says fewer people are using arbitration because it’s not as effective as it could be. He says it’s not always less expensive, faster or more effective than court because it’s not being used to its potential.

He hopes the book will help transform ADR into the effective tool that he believes it can be.

In addition to editing the book and writing the preface, Huberman selected the contributors to its 17 chapters. He says he picked leading legal minds in their areas of practice.

In chapter 10, for example, Shantona Chaudhury, partner with Pape Barristers, interviews some heavyweights about "Effective Commercial Arbitration." She talks to retired Ontario Court of Appeal justices Robert Armstrong and Stephen Goudge and retired Supreme Court of Canada justice Ian Binnie.

In chapter 11, J. Brian Casey, founder of Bay Street Chambers, writes about “Court Involvement in Commercial Arbitration;” and in chapter 17, Western University senior law professor Richard McLaren co-authors “Commercial Arbitration without Hearings: The Court of Innovative Arbitration.”

At its launch on Sept. 14, Huberman dedicated the book to Coulter Osborne, a former associate chief justice of Ontario who’s been working in alternative dispute resolution since retiring from the bench in 2001.

“For the last 30 years, he’s been my mentor and a friend,” says Huberman. “He inspired me to compile the book.”

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