Written by: Lyle Charles
As construction contracting becomes increasingly litigious, more companies are looking into mediation to solve disputes. There are several advantages to mediation, cost being just one of them. Contracts also get extremely complicated, and lawyers only make things worse. For those who want resolution promptly, construction claim preparation and mediation may be the best course of action.
Most mediators charge by the hour, and mediation is typically done within a day. This is good for you, as you won’t be away from your business for long and you won’t have to pay hefty court fees or spend time in a court house. Attorneys also don’t necessarily participate in mediation, and are sometimes discouraged. Mediation doesn’t require an office either. In many cases it can be done at the residence of the mediator or one of the parties involved.
Mediation that begins in the morning on a Thursday can be completed by the afternoon on Friday, usually without further incidence. Trials can drag on for weeks, months or even an entire year or years in the worst case scenarios. Agreements are also binding, so the outcome is the same as if a judge decreed it from the bench.
A construction claims expert can be used to mediate the situation, bringing expertise and source knowledge to the discussion. This is good for both parties, as someone experienced can help guide the conversation. Having some knowledge of the law is a requirement for mediators, so fairness is assured as both parties deliberate. Mediation also tends to have a more favorable outcome for both parties, so work may be able to continue once the dispute is settled.
Both parties also have the option to perform background checks on the mediator, ensuring their credentials meet your standards before you ever sit down to talk.
Perhaps the biggest advantage to mediation is that both parties can leave with their grievances aired. The purpose of mediation is for a neutral party to help guide both opposing parties toward a resolution, so the mediator is typically neutral and unfamiliar with the specifics of your dispute. His or her job is to hear both sides of the disagreement, and help the parties reach a mutually agreed upon resolution. It’s also a private process, so there isn’t the risk of public intervention.
Construction already costs a ton without factoring in the costs of litigation, which is becoming more common by the day. According to Lyle Charles Consulting, mediation can help cut those costs and provide a fair resolution to disputes that commonly arise.