Construction projects often include complex technologies, take years to finish, involve multiple parties, and require a lot of money. These factors increase the likelihood that disputes will arise in this arena. Parties may avoid the time, expense and risk of litigation through mediation to resolve these disputes.
Basics of Mediation
Mediation is an alternative form of dispute resolution. It is a private process in which the parties work closely with a skilled third-party neutral to resolve their dispute in a mutually satisfactory manner. The mediator does not have the authority to bind the parties to an outcome. Instead, the parties are the decision makers. If they can reach an agreement, the mediator and lawyers draft the terms of this agreement and the parties sign it. At all times, the parties retain control of the outcome.
Advantages of Mediation
Mediation can resolve cases much faster and more affordably than litigation or arbitration. Mediation sessions can be scheduled when it is convenient for the parties, and they do not have to wait for expensive, time-consuming discovery as they have to with litigated cases. The parties are often able to reach an agreement that preserves their business relationship. They can also reach creative solutions such as extending the contract, modifying the contract, agreeing to specific subcontractors or vendors or agreeing to work on a future project together that the court might not be able to impose.