When a dispute arises between an owner and a contractor, both parties want to ensure that their interests are being fairly represented, but they don’t necessarily want to solve the dispute with litigation. Litigation should always be your last resort. It’s time consuming and expensive, and it may hinder your ability to salvage a relationship with the project owner. Instead, consult a Tallahassee construction mediation attorney to learn how your construction disputes can be resolved using alternative dispute resolution (ADR) techniques like mediation and arbitration.
Common Causes of Construction Disputes
When contractors and owners feud, you can be certain that someone isn’t meeting the terms of the contract. Disputes arise for many reasons, but some of the most common include misinterpreting the terms of the contract, missing deadlines, failing to administer the contract, and making incomplete or baseless claims. When a dispute escalates into an outright breach of contract, it’s preferable to settle the issue outside of court.
Depending on the severity of your dispute with the owner, reaching an amicable resolution could be as simple as sitting down and negotiating each party’s needs. By including a negotiation clause in your contract, you agree to make an honest attempt to resolve any disputes before proceeding on to other means.
One of the most popular and successful forms of ADR, mediation involves both parties sitting down alongside a neutral third party to resolve the dispute through an open dialogue. Ideally, the mediator will be a Tallahassee construction mediation attorney who is well-versed in construction-related disputes and can help lead a productive mediation session. When an expert is brought in to lead mediation, it may be referred to as expert determination. Unlike some other forms of ADR, mediation is not legally binding.
Like mediation, arbitration involves a neutral third party being employed to assist with the dispute resolution process. Typically, both parties will agree to consult an arbitrator who is familiar with the nature of the dispute and can examine the dispute through an impartial lens. Unlike mediation, arbitration can be legally binding. The arbitrator will take an in-depth look at each side’s case and make a determination that ultimately favors one side if a mutually agreed upon settlement can’t be reached. It’s always advisable to consult a professional who possesses knowledge of the construction industry and construction law, such as a Tallahassee construction dispute attorney.
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.