As Orlando construction lawyers, we know that mediation is the primary form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), and is a versatile and effective way to smooth the path for communication between the disputing parties and find a resolution. Although mediation is considered a more relaxed way to handle a dispute, it’s still important to learn everything you can about the process.
1. Choosing Mediation
There are typically two ways to enter into the mediation process. Either it’s a voluntary move suggested by one of the parties, or there is a mediation clause in the contract. Whether voluntary or by contract, entering into mediation in the beginning of a dispute will help to minimize costs and preserve relationships.
2. Be Fully Prepared
If you decide to enter into mediation, we advise you to form a clear, thought-out strategy for negotiations. Draft an open statement that details your claim, and keep it positive. Decide how you want to present your opening statement, making sure it identifies any key issues that need to be addressed. Be ready with any concerns and issues, and familiarize yourself with the other party’s claims so there are no surprises.
3. Choosing The Right Mediator
Appointing the right mediator is a determining factor in an effective mediation. There are two options when it comes to appointing your mediator. A non-affiliated third party can nominate one, or the two disputing parties can agree on a mediator. We advise that parties request recommendations for mediators, and choose from a selection together.
4. Reaching An Agreement
When wrapping up the mediation, it’s important to have a settlement agreement that is pre-drafted and available as soon as the mediation is over, allowing it to be signed straightaway. This will help to reduce time and costs. It’s recommended that, once an agreement is reached, it should be documented and signed by both parties as quickly as possible. If not, you risk the chance of the other party changing their minds. By drafting the settlement agreement beforehand, with the mediator present, that risk factor will be eliminated.
To speak with one of our construction lawyers in Orlando, or for more information on our construction law services, please contact our office at 407.378.6575 or submit our contact request form to request a consultation.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.