Usually, when a dispute arises on a construction project, it’s the result of a delay, defect, or otherwise unforeseen expense. It may seem like the obvious solution would simply be to talk it over with a project owner — enter into casual negotiations. Unfortunately, in their earnest attempts to resolve a dispute, contractors can end up inciting conflict that can only be resolved through litigation.
Below, a Tallahassee construction mediation attorney with Cotney Construction Law discusses what contractors should do if negotiations begin to break down on a project site. Before your dispute goes any further, we recommend consulting a lawyer who can help determine if your next step is the right one.
Starting Off on the Right Foot
Tempers can flare on projects when a party is accused of withholding payment, causing a construction defect or delay, or failing to uphold their contractual obligations. It happens to the best of us, which is why it’s so important to consult a third-party who can calmly work to resolve the issue.
A Tallahassee construction dispute attorney will first read the contents of your construction contract to accurately determine where responsibility for an issue lies. From there, an attorney can draft a demand letter laying out exactly why the other party is in the wrong and what they can do to resolve the issue. A clear and concise argument on paper will always win out over an impassioned speech said in the heat of the moment, even if everything said is true.
Exploring Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods
In the rare case that a demand letter doesn’t work, a Tallahassee construction mediation attorney can help you explore alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods. These dispute methods can range from informal talks to negotiations that resemble a hearing. Each side will be given the chance to argue their point, and a final decision will be reached to determine how the dispute will be resolved. Just because two parties have a disagreement doesn’t mean they can’t reach an amicable resolution.
Seeing Things Through to the End
In the event that ADR methods like mediation fall through, our attorneys can begin the litigation process. However, it’s a long road from an emerging dispute to a court case, and any one decision made along the way could quickly end a dispute or see that it drags on for months. That’s why we recommend partnering with a Tallahassee construction dispute attorney.
At Cotney Construction Law, our team of attorneys can be with you from the very beginning to ensure that negotiations go as smoothly as possible. Before you speak to an owner about a grievance you have, consider the legal leverage that can be provided by an attorney from our construction law firm.
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.