Mediation of Construction Disputes

Written by: Lyle Charles Consulting

When a dispute arises in a commercial construction project, what happens after is usually dependent on what’s in the contract. These days, it’s common for businesses to stipulate mediation as the preferred method for settling disputes. Construction claim analysis is a time-consuming prospect that requires attention to detail. The mediation process is good for both parties, and it typically speeds things up much faster than standard trial litigation.

Before you take your dispute to trial, consider the benefits of mediating outside of court.

Why Mediations are Chosen

The reasons mediation is done so frequently has to do with court costs. Courts spend a lot of money litigating, and they handle untold cases daily. Disputes that can be settled out of court are good for local justice systems, and they generally help the parties involved as well. Trial is hard, and costs a lot of money. You’ll end up paying high costs in lawyer fees, and construction claim preparation will be left to you alone.

An expert in the subject of mediation is a huge benefit to you when you make the decision to work with your fellow litigant. These third party evaluators are there to observe the process, make note of what is being said and help both parties reach an amicable agreement.

Before Mediation Happens

The process of gathering evidence is directly related to the paperwork that both parties kept on the project. It’s important that you document everything you have done, and that your contract stipulates exactly what you plan to do and nothing more. Most disputes arise from schedule changes, and other minor adjustments that appear harmless. The disputes arise when both parties fail to agree on some form of resolution.

Why Lawyers Hate Mediation

Simply put, lawyers don’t stand to make any money on mediation unless they are the mediator. In construction claims, it’s rare for a lawyer to play this part. They may have knowledge on the law, but a steel fabrication expert is much better for disputes that involve materials or construction matters. They are simply better trained on the legal intricacies of the subject and are better equipped to understand the needs of both parties.

As lawyers are typically excluded from the process of mediation, their advice may push you into trial. Trial can be appropriate, but it tends to sever relationships. Mediation is a method for you to save face while coming to a decision that benefits each party involved.