Notarized evidence from witnesses in e-Court proceedings are allowed

(amount mentioned is valid through 2013 & 2014)

Witnesses in e-court statements are only allowed as evidence if the statement is authenticated/attested by a notary. This means that the notary confirms the identity of the person(s) who signed the document(s) for deposit. The e-Court notary can be asked to complete this task at an additional cost of CNY$720, however also other notaries not registered with e-Court are accepted.

Commercial Arbitration in Ontario, Canada - Why arbitrate?

source : Randy A Pepper

For commercial parties, Ontario represents an attractive site for arbitration. With few exceptions, the Ontario courts have shown a willingness to interpret the International Act and the Arbitration Act in a manner consistent with the philosophy of party autonomy and the guiding principles of the Model Law. This provides business parties with an opportunity to tailor an arbitral process that suits the needs of the parties and the circumstances of the case.

As noted above, there will be cases in which litigation can provide a satisfactory and less expensive resolution of disputes than arbitration when, for example, an issue of law is in dispute and the matter qualifies for treatment as an application,123 or for matters which qualify for resolution under the Commercial List in the Toronto Region.124 However, at the outset of a commercial relationship, parties will not know whether any subsequent disputes will qualify for such treatment. As a result, the negotiation of an arbitration agreement at the outset of their relationship provides commercial parties with an opportunity to fashion a dispute resolution process that is appropriate for their anticipated requirements.

Based on the above analysis, arbitration in Ontario should be strongly considered as a preferred method of dispute resolution in a large variety of business contexts, including the following:125 (1) International Business Arrangemen:t sArbitration will almost always represent a more acceptable alternative to litigation for the resolution of disputes in international business agreements, particularly as both parties are usually reluctant to submit to the other’s courts. In addition, arbitral awards from Ontario are widely enforceable under the New York Convention.

(2) Licensing, Distribution, Supply, or Franchise Agreemen: ts Disputes relating to licensing, distribution, supply, or franchise agreements frequently involve issues such as marketing, pricing, and the quality of products and services. These are all matters in which the confidentiality of the arbitral process presents a significant advantage over traditional litigation. More importantly, these are often ongoing business arrangements in which quick and inexpensive dispute resolution is more conducive to a lasting, commercial relationship than a public court battle that is witnessed by competitors and other distributors or franchisees.

(3) Partnership, Joint Venture, or Shareholder Agreeme: nItns such agreements, disputes between the parties often require an assessment of one party’s conduct or contribution, or a valuation of one party’s interest in the venture. These disputes may relate to proprietary information, new technology, trade secrets, or to sensitive financial information. Arbitration provides a private forum where the parties are able to select an arbitrator who has the necessary expertise to resolve these disputes without disclosing confidential data.

(4) Technology or Process Agreemen:t sWhen parties acquire technology or sophisticated process equipment, disputes can arise during installation or after start-up. In either case, significant damages can accrue as the parties seek a resolution of the dispute. Arbitration can provide a quick adjudication of the dispute before an arbitrator with the necessary technical expertise to efficiently resolve the issue.

(5) Employment Contracts: Both the employer and the employee will frequently prefer the private arbitration of employment disputes to protracted litigation under the Rules of Civil Procedure. Wrongful dismissal litigation can be expensive and time-consuming for both sides. An abbreviated discovery and an expedited hearing before an arbitrator familiar with employment law will often be preferable to years of litigation and the risk of an aberrant court award.

(6) Agreements to Buy or Sell Business:e Ts hese agreements often generate disputes over post-closing adjustments, inventory quality, representations and warranties, and adequacy of financial disclosure and reporting. The litigation of these disputes can be acrimonious and timeconsuming, but the resolution frequently turns on technical points or on accounting practices or procedures. Arbitration allows the parties to privately resolve these disputes before an arbitral tribunal selected for its familiarity with the issues in dispute.

(7) Other Commercial Agreemen:t sIn addition to the above examples, arbitration should be the preferred method of dispute resolution in any commercial dispute in which both parties are cooperative and desire a quick resolution. This can occur when the parties have attempted some form of ADR or simple negotiation but have determined that adjudication of some or all of the disagreements between them is necessary. In such circumstances, arbitration can be faster, more economical, and the result less uncertain than litigation, if the parties adopt measures to save time and money and minimize risk. For example, the parties can agree to abbreviate oral discoveries, to submit evidence in writing, to impose time limits on oral presentations and cross-examinations, or to place bounds on the arbitral award. However, to take full advantage of these potential benefits of arbitration, legal counsel must be alert to possible time, cost-saving, and risk-reduction measures, and creative in designing an appropriate arbitration process.

Ontario’s legislators and courts have paved the way towards a significant expansion in commercial arbitration. If lawyers and their clients become more familiar with the arbitral process and its advantages over conventional litigation, and if arbitration and legal organizations (and the government) promote the province as a site for international arbitration, the years ahead may see Ontario emerge as a leading centre for domestic and international commercial arbitration.

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