Disputes are inevitable when you work in construction. As Chattanooga construction lawyers, we know that when conflicts happen, disputants are understandably confused about how to settle their conflicts. Suppose negotiation or mediation, as discussed in part one, does not provide you with the outcome you were hoping for. If this is the case, your next options are arbitration and litigation. We will discuss these below.
If your attempt to mediate your conflict left you and the other party disappointed, you might be interested in blending aspects of mediation and arbitration for a satisfactory solution. This method allows you to work together to resolve the conflict in the presence of a neutral sounding board.
On the other hand, parties who choose arbitration will have their case decided by an objective arbitrator. The arbitrator will hear the case, review evidence, and render a final binding decision, which can involve a monetary award to one of the parties that can be enforced by a court. There is typically no appeal process. Some assume that arbitration will always be the fastest and most cost-efficient method of resolving a dispute; however, this is not always the case because traditional arbitration may involve written discovery, depositions, subpoena power, and live evidence during hearings. If some reason, one or both parties are still not satisfied, litigation will be necessary to resolve the dispute.
Litigation is the most familiar method of dispute resolution and typically involves defendants taking their dispute to a court of law to be heard by a judge or jury. The judge or jury will then listen to the case, weigh the evidence, and make a ruling. The ruling is legally binding and enforceable; however, there are opportunities for an appeal. Litigation is a complex and thorough process that can take much longer than the other dispute resolution techniques.
Why You Consult an Attorney
Dispute resolution clauses are an important aspect of construction contracts. They set the mechanism for the resolution of disputes between contractual parties. If you overlook the dispute resolution portion of your contract, it is time to take a closer look—your clauses could likely use some fine-tuning. At Cotney Construction Law, contract review and drafting is one of our practice focuses. Our Chattanooga construction lawyers are qualified to review your contracts to determine if your clauses are problematic.
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.