Construction disputes arise between the owner, developer or investor and the contractor due to various breaches of a construction contract, such as failure to complete the project on time, irregular payment, construction defects and delay due to unforeseen circumstances.
Construction projects involve long-term relationships and significant investments. When a dispute arises, both parties are interested in resolving it as quickly as possible to avoid unnecessary delays and excessive expenses.
The traditional way of dealing with construction disputes is in court litigation. However, litigating construction disputes has numerous disadvantages. It is a burdensome, time-consuming, and financially draining.
Apart from the usual delays and costs in the construction project, the parties cannot afford to waste precious time and resources in an ineffective procedure that often takes years. The vindictiveness of litigation and the focus on winning the case at any cost disrupts positive business relationships and endangers the entire project. What is the use of winning the dispute in a middle of an unfinished project? You still must spend extra money to hire another contractor to complete the project. On the other hand, no one can compensate for wasted time.
Mediation allows the parties to resolve their construction dispute through peaceful negotiations, resuming their relationship toward the project completion.
As an alternative dispute resolution method, Mediation offers a timely and cost-effective approach to overcoming challenges during the construction project. The simple structure of the Mediation procedure is a proven way to save significant time and resources.
The mediator is a neutral third person, usually a retired judge or another professional with knowledge and experience with construction issues. The parties choose the mediator voluntarily by signing an agreement to mediate. The confidentiality clause is an integral part of that agreement, meaning that all information shared during Mediation sessions will remain confidential. Even if the Mediation does not succeed, using revealed information is not allowed in potential or pending litigation.
There is no judge or a jury in Mediation. Unlike an appointed judge, the mediator cannot impose a decision to resolve a dispute. The parties have absolute control over the process and its outcome. They can change the mediator or abandon the negotiations and initiate litigation.
The purpose of Mediation is to enable and facilitate negotiations through a neutral, confidential, and professional environment. In stimulating the parties to settle through negotiations, the mediator conducts the procedure in four typical stages: introduction, opening statements, private sessions, and joint sessions.
The Mediation process typically consists of a Mediator’s introduction, attorneys’ opening statements in a joint session, and attorneys and parties in separate, private sessions with the Mediator. After a brief introduction, the mediator presents his or her qualifications and explains the procedure to the parties. In private sessions, parties talk with the mediator in separate rooms. The mediator goes back and forth between the private rooms, assisting parties to understand the strengths and weaknesses of their case; discussing their settlement options; and aiding in resolution of the controversy. During Mediation, the Mediator may meet separately with attorneys to help fashion a settlement. The mediator facilitates the negotiations between the parties with the goal of settling the dispute and avoiding additional litigation.
The successful negotiations result in a settlement resolving the dispute. The parties sign a binding agreement settling their dispute enforceable in court.
As a retired Chief Judge of the 11th Judicial Circuit, Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediator and designated Legal Luminary Best Mediator, Joseph P. Farina has established a record of success in mediating construction disputes.
As a distinguished negotiator, Joe will help you achieve a mutually beneficial settlement.