There is not one right way to handle a construction dispute. For some, a mutually-beneficial agreement can be reached using mediation. For others, arbitration may be required, or it is simply the best approach to resolving the dispute. And in some cases, litigation offers benefits that will provide the most favorable outcome. To determine the best approach, you need a Orlando construction litigation attorney who is highly knowledgeable of the construction industry and standard project procedures.
Unlike other forms of resolution, mediation puts disputing parties in control of the outcome. Meetings consist of the disputing parties, their representation, and a trained mediator. The mediator will listen to each side and encourage amicable discussion. However, the mediator does not have control over the final decision. Instead, both parties will reach an agreed upon outcome to resolve the dispute. Once this agreement is reached, each party will sign a Memorandum of Understanding, which is a legally binding document that outlines the terms of the resolution. If an agreement can not be reached during mediation, the next step will be to consult with an Orlando construction litigation attorney to determine if arbitration or litigation is the best option.
Arbitration, like mediation, is considered alternative dispute resolution. An arbitration trial happens much like a standard trial, but rather than both parties presenting their case before a judge, arguments will be brought before an arbitrator or panel of arbitrators, commonly with experience in the construction industry. The decision is legally binding, but decisions are based upon the knowledge of the arbitrators and their understanding of the case, rather than legal statute and laws.
While it’s common to find arbitration clauses in most construction contracts, a standard litigation trial can still occur. If any of the contracted parties are in breach of the agreed upon terms, the contract may become non-binding. For some, litigation is seen as a last resort, but this decision is best decided by an experienced Orlando construction litigation attorney, especially when legal precedents and case law will work in your favor. During a litigation trial, your case will be brought before a judge or jury who will listen to the arguments and facts presented by both sides. Based on city, state, and federal laws, a decision will be reached. A major differentiating factor between arbitration and litigation is the ability to appeal a decision made during a standard trial, which is another aspect to consider when determining the best course of action.
Again, handling a construction dispute is not black and white, it requires a deep understanding of the industry and experience working with varying construction disputes between property owners, developers, contractors, architects, engineers, and other individuals with vested interest in the construction industry.
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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.