Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods give construction companies alternatives to litigation for resolving disputes. The two primary forms of ADR are arbitration and mediation. Both serve the need to cost-effectively resolve a dispute, but they do it in different ways. In this two-part series, we are examining both in order to help you make an informed decision on what’s best for you. A Boca Raton construction lawyer can guide you through the process of arbitration or mediation and can form a contract that designates one as a the method for which disputes are handled.
Factors to consider when deciding between arbitration and mediation include:
The Role of Arbitrators and Mediators
One of the biggest differences in the arbitration and mediation processes are the roles of the people who lead them. Arbitrators act as “judges” in arbitration. They view evidence, the hear arguments from the conflicting parties, and they make a binding judgement. Mediators act as facilitators. They work with both parties, both together and separately, to reach a resolution that’s amicable to both sides. Mediators cannot assess right and wrong or make judgements based on what they hear.
Preservation of Relationships
By it’s nature, mediation is designed for conflicting parties who would like to maintain a working relationship. Both parties select the mediator and work together to determine a solution to their issue. The fact there’s no “ruling” being made, prevents either side from feeling like the “loss.” Arbitration, like litigation, involves one side receiving a more positive ruling. Depending on the conflict, this could end the working relationship.
In arbitration and mediation, the conflicting parties select the mediators and arbitrators. This gives both parties the opportunity to select people who have knowledge of the industry and can best speak to the technical details of a dispute. This is not the case with litigation, where you don’t have control over who presides over your case.
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.