Low Cost, Fast Results
Avoid construction disputes with clearly defined work tasks, schedules, quality inspection points, and timely communication to manage the risk of problems. Misunderstandings and unrealized expectations will fuel disputes unless good communication and contractual procedures for dispute resolution are in place.
High-cost settlements may require litigation with expensive legal and expert fees. Mediation or arbitration may be considered. For small dollar limited issue construction matters there is another cost effective and timely approach that offers the best of mediation and arbitration – it is binding mediation. This approach is particularly effective when the mediator has appropriate technical and substantive knowledge.
Binding mediation begins with the assistance of a trained, experienced, and skilled mediator. Mediation offers the flexibility of the neutral mediator to work with each party to fully understand the issues and develop a settlement that is fair and equable to both parties. A mediation settlement agreement is completed for those issues the parties have agreed upon. When there are unresolved issues and there was a Binding Mediation Agreement completed prior to the start of the mediation, the mediator may gather additional information to make final decisions. When there has not been a binding mediation agreement but the parties are close to a settlement then a Binding Mediation Addendum may be prepared so the mediator can render a final decision and the parties would not have to go to binding arbitration or litigation to seek resolution.
Peter A. Schkeeper, P.E., F. NSPE is a certified dispute specialist on the CDRS National Panel of Construction ADR Specialists.
Additional information and agreement forms can be seen at http://constructiondisputes-cdrs.com/about_binding_mediation.htm