Construction Negotiation and Mediation
Negotiation and mediation are often the last chance to have a direct hand in deciding the outcome of a dispute.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
When construction disputes are not resolved through standard communications by the parties or their attorneys, it often makes sense for the parties to partake in alternative dispute resolution proceedings such as negotiation or mediation before taking the next step into litigation or arbitration. Litigation and arbitration can be very expensive, time-consuming, inconvenient, and risky.
In negotiation, the parties essentially sit across the table from each other, often with their attorneys, to talk about the facts and law relevant to the dispute, argue about the strengths and weaknesses of their cases, show each other documents, and generally work together to find an acceptable compromise that will resolve some or all of their issues. There is no formal procedure, and parties are allowed to and encouraged to find creative solutions to their problems.
Mediation is very similar, except for the addition of a mediator—a neutral third party (often a construction attorney, retired judge, or construction professional) who attempts to facilitate the parties’ coming to an amicable resolution. The addition of the mediator can help calm otherwise frayed emotions, think of ways to bypass impediments to settlement, convey non-binding interpretations of facts or law, and give the parties a fresh, outsider perspective on their problems while still having expertise in the field of construction. To allow freer communication at mediation, the proceedings are confidential and cannot be used against either party outside the confines of the mediation. In litigation, the parties are almost always required to engage in a mediation prior to trial.
At the conclusion of successful negotiation or mediation proceedings, the parties will often enter into a written and signed settlement agreement that is legally binding and clearly sets forth the details of their agreement.
Marlowe McNabb Machnik, P.A. can negotiate on your behalf, advise you during negotiations, and initiate and represent you during mediation pertaining to construction matters.
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