About Us

Michelle Simpson | Simpson Law | Edmonton, Alberta
Michelle Simpson is the Principal of Simpson Law and she is a lawyer, Chartered Mediator and Chartered Arbitrator.  Michelle holds a Juris Doctor (bilingual program) from University of Ottawa, a Certificate in Arbitration from the ADR Institute of Alberta, and a Certificate in Conflict Management with Assessments from the ADR Institute of Alberta.  In short, Michelle is trained in three distinct areas of dispute resolution.  Michelle offers a broader range of knowledge and options to clients who are seeking a conflict resolution process that best suits their needs.

In addition to providing legal services, Simpson Law offers arbitration and mediation services in the following areas:

  • Business (both within Canada and internationally)
  • Construction
  • Insurance
  • Work place

Mediation and Arbitration are two very different processes.  See the chart below that highlights some of the differences:

Mediation Arbitration
A private process; conducted on a “without prejudice” basis meaning, what is said in the room typically stays in the room A private process; no one even needs to know that you are even in a dispute and the decision does not typically create legal precedent.  The parties create their own arbitral process subject to the Arbitrator’s requirement to provide a “fair hearing”.  Questioning, timing of delivery of documents and of the hearing itself are all determined by the parties in conjunction with the  Arbitrator.  The objective is to save time and money through the arbitral process and to keep matters out of the public eye.
Participants sit around a table and the discussion is facilitated by a person called a mediator or a facilitator Parties choose a person to act as their private judge and before whom the parties submit their “cases”
Voluntary process; all participants must agree to participate By agreement; all parties must agree in writing to participate
Any participant can choose to discontinue the mediation process at any time Once the parties have agreed to resolve by arbitration and the arbitrator has been appointed, the arbitration will proceed unless all parties to the arbitration agree to discontinue the arbitration process
The person conducting the mediation is called a mediator or sometimes, a facilitator The person conducting the arbitration is called the arbitrator
The participants maintain control of the decision making.  The mediator typically makes no decisions for the parties.  An evaluative mediation (which is different than an interest-based mediation) includes an evaluation by the mediator of the participants’ cases The arbitrator makes the decision for the parties once the parties have presented their cases
For interest-based mediation, the process ordinarily involves a pre-mediation meeting with each participant followed by a mediation which typically includes 4 stages: housekeeping items, setting the agenda, gaining some understanding around the issues and then, creation of an action plan Arbitration begins with the agreement to arbitrate followed by the appointment of the arbitrator and then, a preliminary hearing at which time the process and rules of engagement are ironed out by the parties.
Rules of Natural Justice do not apply because the mediator is not making a decision for the parties The Rules of Natural Justice apply and the Arbitrator is seized with the responsibility to ensure that the parties present their cases in the context of a “fair hearing”.
Even in an evaluative mediation the evaluation offered up by the mediator is typically not binding on the participants The decision of the Arbitrator is binding on the parties and has the same effect as an Order of the Court and can even be filed with the Court and enforced in the same manner as an Order of the Court.  There are limited rights to appeal to the Court from an Arbitrator’s decision.
There is currently no provincial or federal legislation governing mediators or the mediation process There is provincial law in every province and territory of Canada that governs arbitrations and the jurisdiction of the Arbitrator


To find out more about how Simpson Law can help you, contact us today!

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