If you work in the construction industry long enough, you will likely find yourself in a dispute someday. Sometimes litigation or alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation or arbitration are necessary. Mediation is one of the quickest, cheapest, and most efficient ways to resolve your disputes.
In this two-part article, our Birmingham construction lawyers will discuss mediation and give some tips to ensure your mediation is a success. In part two, we will conclude our series with more tips for mediation success.
Although mediation is a simpler form of negotiation, it should not be taken lightly. A mediation involves two or more disputing parties and a third party, the mediator. The mediator’s job is to help you reach a mutually agreeable solution to your dispute. Depending on your contract, mediation may be required before you can even submit a claim to proceed to arbitration or litigation.
Mediation may be the best option for reasons including:
- Flexible solutions and settlements
- Relatively swift and inexpensive process
- Both parties control the outcome
- Preserves business relationships
- Private discussions and settlements cannot be used in court if the dispute is not settled
On the other hand, mediation may not work for your dispute if both parties are not willing to cooperate. Mediation does not always result in an agreement.
Always Be Prepared
To ensure the mediation process is efficient, all parties should be prepared. Think like an attorney and make sure you know the facts of your case. Have your documents organized, and be ready to present your case and answer opposing questions. As experienced dispute resolution attorneys, we cannot stress enough the importance of proper documentation. However, recordkeeping does not begin at the first sign of a dispute; it begins at the start of every project you partake in. Scrambling to organize documentation will only set you up for failure.
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.