If you are having a conflict with a subcontractor regarding their work, you have access to several legal options to remedy the situation. You should examine your dispute and the other party’s stance before deciding on the best course of legal action for you. It is important to consider alternative dispute resolutions before proceeding with litigation. Below is a list of potential dispute resolution options you may wish to consider.
Arbitration is the most common form of alternative dispute resolution and is often a requirement in commercial construction contracts. The arbitration process is managed by private associations and is designed to minimize the pre-hearing process, saving both time and money for the respective parties.
Mediation is a resolution process that can be entered into voluntarily or by order of a court. Once the recommendation is issued, the parties have a period of time to accept or reject mediation. Mediation works well for parties that wish to maintain a good relationship during and after the process.
Like arbitration, facilitation is used to avoid a lengthy court undertaking. In facilitation, the court appoints a facilitator to listen to the parties’ disputes and attempt to negotiate a settlement on behalf of the parties. However, if facilitation happens to be unsuccessful, the case will make its way to trial.
Which Form of Dispute Resolution Should I Use?
A dispute will cost you when you have to devote employee time toward describing what happened, produce sufficient documentation, and provide testimonies of your work ethic. The dispute resolution method that’s in your best interest is the one that has the least impact on your position with customers, subcontractors, and suppliers.
How Much Will This Cost?
Ask your attorney to assess the risks and expenses involved in all potential disputes. Most will suggest that you avoid litigation and attempt to negotiate a compromised position before any form of litigation.
If conflicts arise, examine the dispute, the potential outcomes, and the effect of litigation on your business. If the other party is unwilling to act justly or compromise, litigation is inevitable and you must carefully select the appropriate litigation attorney. Because the legal expenses are usually the responsibility of the individual parties to pay back, it is that “expense” that is critical for a business owner to assess before committing time and resources in a formal dispute.
If you would like to speak with a knowledgeable construction attorney, please contact us today.
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.