Every construction project needs to have a method for resolving conflicts. Many times, Fort Lauderdale construction attorneys, like the ones at Trent Cotney P.A., will write a clause in the contract detailing how disputes will be handled. This is a critical part of the contract and it’s important to consider what the best way to resolve issues on the job site.
In this two-part series, we are examining two primary methods for resolving conflicts, arbitration, an alternative dispute resolution method, and litigation. Below are factors to consider when looking at both methods. You may also visit part one of this series for additional information.
In general, arbitration is shorter in length than litigation. Depending on the terms of your arbitration, the appeal process may be limited. Decisions in litigation can be appealed. This has a tendency to lengthen the process and, ultimately, cost participants more money.
In arbitration, the arbitrator or the panel is usually an architect or someone with advanced knowledge of the construction industry. It will be a person or persons with the experience and knowledge necessary to understand the technical aspects of a dispute. This allows the dispute to potentially be resolved in the manner in which it should. In litigation, it’s not likely that the judge or jury will have technical knowledge of construction. If technical knowledge is a factor in the conflict, it could be affect the court’s ability to give the best ruling.
No company wants business issues to be a matter of public record and there as important reasons why you would want discretion. Conflicts that go to litigation are a matter of public record. If you are a well-known company, moderate media coverage or social media attention is likely. Also, this information can be attained by your competition. Arbitration hearings are not public, which allows what is discussed to remain private.
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.