A construction arbitration is an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process in which a non-affiliated third party, better known as an arbitrator, reviews a case between two or more disputing parties to impose a decision. The arbitrator’s decision is legally binding.
Arbitration has become the most favored means of resolving disputes in the state of Florida, and our Jacksonville construction lawyers agree that it is an advantageous form of dispute resolution for construction professionals. However, there are some misconceptions that must be addressed to clear up any confusion.
Arbitrations Are Always Cheaper
Intrinsically, arbitrations are less costly than a litigation because arbitrators are not held to the same constraints of a court litigation. Expenses often incurred during the pretrial discovery and the trial itself can be avoided. Notwithstanding, if an arbitration is not managed well, it can become more costly. For example, incorporating the discovery process, which is being done increasingly, will absolutely increase expenses. The key is to manage the process well and to expedite the proceedings so as to keep expenses reasonable. Flexibility is one of the benefits of arbitrations, parties have the power to ensure the process remains streamlined.
No Appeals Allowed
What if a contractor is not satisfied with the arbitrator’s decision? It is true, that an arbitrator’s decision is final and binding; however, there is a potential opportunity for an appeal. It’s important to note that most arbitrations are not eligible for an appeal, in fact, appeals rarely happen. However, JAMS offers an optional appellate arbitration procedure when an appeal is necessary. Keep in mind that appeals are likely a result of fraud or misconduct. If you feel you have legitimate grounds for an appeal, consulting with a Jacksonville contractor lawyer is a wise decision before proceeding further.
Arbitrations Are Always Faster
We hear it all the time; an arbitration is a faster process than litigation. Typically they are faster because they are less formal and the process can be expedited to ensure it does not linger longer than necessary. However, arbitrations can get lengthy. Like the cost aspect, if the process is poorly managed it can become time-consuming. It is also not unheard of for an arbitration to take as long as a litigation due to the challenges of scheduling and the complexity of some cases—and we know that construction disputes can get pretty complex. The more complex a case, the more likely you will increase the need for additional sessions.
To learn more, head over to part two of our article.
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.