At Cotney Construction Law, we’ve made it our mission to assist construction companies with any and all legal disputes. One of the most effective ways of settling a dispute quickly and privately is with arbitration, one of several alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods that we offer. In this two-part article, one of our Jacksonville construction lawyers discusses arbitration and the myths surrounding this useful and sometimes necessary process. If you’ve found yourself caught up in a construction dispute with no end in sight, arbitration may be for you.
Myth Number One: Arbitration Is Not a Cost-Saving Measure
As we’ve covered previously, the average cost of construction disputes in North America is a staggering $19 million. This is due to a number of factors, not the least of which being that disputes last close to 18 months on average. During this time construction companies encounter cash flow issues as a result of stalled projects and mounting legal fees. By comparison, arbitration can effectively resolve a dispute in a fraction of the time. Arbitration is a cost-saving measure that is just as effective as litigation, which brings us to our next point.
Myth Number Two: Arbitration Is Not As Effective As Litigation
Arbitration is designed to be as decisive as litigation without the mess, and in many ways reflects the best parts of the litigation process. There are opening statements, and both sides present evidence and their arguments to an arbitrator, an independent third-party brought in to settle the dispute. Like a judge, the arbitrator will review the evidence and make a final decision. This final decision can be enforced by a court if necessary, lending further weight to the arbitration process.
Myth Number Three: Everyone Has to Work Together
Construction disputes are rarely emotionless affairs, and business relationships are regularly strained and broken before, during, and after a dispute. Fortunately, you don’t have to work together during arbitration — that’s what mediation is for.
Mediation is a process you likely explored before your dispute got out of hand. It’s a process in which all parties come together to find a mutually beneficial solution. Unlike arbitration, there are no “winners” during mediation. As long as you have a fair, experienced arbitrator, you can win when the final decision is handed down during arbitration. For more on the myths of arbitration and finding the right arbitrator to resolve your dispute, read part two.
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.