Richard A. Buchan

Lawyer/Mediator/Arbitrator (C. Arb)

Rick Buchan, BA, LL.B., C. Arb

Welcome to

Your resource for cost-effective options to resolve legal disputes in Whitehorse and the Yukon Territory

If you have a legal dispute and want to avoid the costs, delays and public exposure of the public court system, consider the alternatives available in mediation and arbitration.  Read on to learn more about these Alternative Dispute Resolution options…

What is mediation?

Mediation can be described simply as a facilitated negotiation, whether to resolve a dispute, reconcile diverging interests, or build a working relationship going forward.  The distinguishing feature of this kind of negotiation process is the involvement of a skilled, neutral mediator whose role is to assist the parties in exploring and communicating effectively their respective needs and interests to achieve an optimal outcome for all involved.

Why mediation?

Control  Mediation keeps control of the outcome in the hands of the parties.  They alone decide whether they will reach an agreement.  Power over the outcome is not surrendered to a decision-maker such as a judge or arbitrator.

Confidentiality  Unlike the public courts, mediation sessions are entirely private, confidential and not open to public observation.  Parties to the mediation agree that all communications exchanged in the context of mediation shall remain absolutely confidential and may not be disclosed in any subsequent legal proceedings.

Cost-effectiveness Civil lawsuits (litigation) in the courts are extremely expensive.  The formal procedures in court proceedings typically engage the time and expertise of lawyers, which is expensive for the parties on both sides of the dispute.  Generally, mediations have a high success ratio, and take much less time than trials in court.

Certainty  Going to court is like rolling the dice; once a case is handed over to a judge, it is no longer in the hands of the parties.  The outcome of a trial can be hard to predict.  In contrast, as mediating parties ultimately control whether they agree to a resolution, they have certainty as to what that outcome will be.  A party that is not satisfied with a proposed outcome need not agree to it.

Speed  Courts and judges are always busy.  Trials are often scheduled many months or even years after the incident giving rise to the lawsuit.  The parties to the lawsuit generally do not have the opportunity to choose their judge.  Parties mediating their disputes have much greater control over how quickly the matter is dealt with and who the mediator will be.

What is arbitration?
Arbitration is a form of private litigation process that uses a skilled, private decision-maker—the arbitrator—to decide a dispute in a private setting instead of a public courtroom.  Arbitration is often considered advisable in business and commercial situations, and arbitration provisions are often stipulated in various business contracts.  There are numerous reasons why parties in business wish to have their differences resolved out of the public eye or according to processes that can be much more flexible than those available in the public court system.

For more information go to Arbitration


Privacy & Confidentiality Arbitrations are strictly private proceedings, and arbitration awards are generally not published.

Flexibility The parties to an arbitration can tailor the process to their own particular needs, cost constraints and schedules.

Choice of Decision-maker  Unlike the public court system, private arbitration allows the disputing parties to choose an arbitrator who has experience or expertise in the subject-matter of the dispute.  Having an experienced, knowledgeable arbitrator can save time and cost that would otherwise be spent on “educating” a generalist judge.

Speed, Efficiency and Cost-effectiveness The speed and efficiency with which arbitrations can be started and achieve resolution are very important factors, especially in business situations where delays can be costly.  While the parties pay for the cost of the arbitrator, the streamlined process and timely resolution can save expense and other intangible costs in the long run.

Finality Arbitration decisions are final and binding.  Court appeals are not available, unless the parties agree beforehand.

Enforceability  Arbitration decisions (awards) may, upon application to a court, be made enforceable as if they were orders of the court itself.