Due to the excessive number of cases backlogging the court systems, along with the number of disputes arising within the design and construction industry, there is a substantial need for alternatives to the traditional litigation process for resolving design and construction related disputes. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) offers multiple formats intended for the resolution of disputes outside the traditional judicial process that not only reduces costs but also saves time and preserves relationships.
Although ADR services have been traditionally provided by retired judges and attorneys, as an expert in the field with more than 35-years of experience, LAC offers certain services regarding various types of ADR methods utilized in resolving design and construction related disputes, including:
- Neutral Services
- Job-Site Resolution
Mediation is a voluntary process in which the disputing parties select a neutral and impartial party to assist in resolving their differences. Although the power to determine the final outcome ultimately resides with the parties, the mediator acts as a catalyst to assist the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable solution and agreement.
The mediation process produces the best results when employed early on when the conflict arises. The ultimate success of mediation hinges on the parties’ desires and willingness to resolve the dispute along with the mediator’s understanding and technical expertise of the issues. Unlike traditional mediation resources, LAC brings specific knowledge and expertise in the architecture and construction industry. This knowledge and understanding allows LAC to develop and offer alternative methods and recommendations that may otherwise be overlooked.
Design and construction related claims typically require the involvement of subject matter expert witnesses. Architects, engineers, contractors, and other speciality consultants are routinely retained on behalf of the plaintiffs and defendants to evaluate, analyze, and opine on the disputed issues. A “Neutral” provides similar services as those performed by the experts typically involved in a disputed matter however, a neutral is retained jointly by both parties to evaluate and analyze the issues and to provide expert opinions and recommendations that will provide assistance in reaching an acceptable outcome.
In addition to the traditional methods of ADR, there is another method known as Job-Site Resolution (JSR) that provides many benefits not always realized through traditional means. Even at a time when disputes arise, the original goals established for completing a project remains a common ground between the disputing parties. Keeping these goals in mind, JSR provides the opportunity to keep the project on track while providing resolution benefits to each of the parties. Reducing costs associated with design and construction related disputes are always in each parties’ best interest. Delaying the resolution process inherently results in additional delays in completing the project. Addressing the dispute at the job site when it arises mitigates the potential for damage claims and costly delays.