Disputes on construction sites often threaten to grind production to a deafening halt. They also can cost companies thousands of dollars if not handled swiftly and effectively. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a set of methods that can be used to resolve conflicts without the use of litigation. One method, mediation, gives conflicting parties an opportunity to meet with a neutral third party to determine an amicable solution. Mediation is a collaborative approach that puts the solution in the hands of the parties themselves. However, it’s ineffective if those parties are at an impasse. Arbitration allows conflicting parties to present their cases to an arbitrator who decides a course of action. Arbitration decisions are final, but they leave the decision in the hands of an entity that may not understand the nuances of your business.
A hybrid solution that more companies are using to settle disputes is med-arb or mediation-arbitration. In med-arb, conflicting parties initially work with a mediator to determine a solution to their dispute. If they are unable to resolve the conflict they are then able to work with an arbitrator who will make the final decision for the parties. The mediator can assume the role of arbitrator, using the knowledge they acquired in mediation, or they can pass the process on to an arbitrator. A Jacksonville construction attorney can guide you through this process.
Advantages of Med-Arb
A Flexible Solution: Med-Arb gives construction companies the opportunity to create a solution on their own before moving into arbitration. If there’s potential to save the business relationship, the conflicting parties may not want to go to arbitration first. However, if mediation doesn’t settle the issue, they can always move to arbitration.
A Cheaper Solution: By utilizing a med-arb approach, companies can save themselves the cost of re-starting discovery with a separate arbitrator since the facts of the cases were already discussed in mediation. Med-arb can also refine the conflicting cases so that only the critical disputes are dealt with in arbitration.
While it’s not a requirement, hiring a Jacksonville construction litigation attorney is a critical part of receiving a successful outcome. They are skilled at negotiating on your behalf in mediation and can defend your rights if the process transitions to arbitration.
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.