How a Construction Lawyer Can Help with Alternative Dispute Resolutions
Every single construction project is unique and comes with a set of advantages and issues. At times, you may need construction lawyers to negotiate on your behalf or reach an agreement. They play a crucial role in resolving disputes arising in the contract.
Usually, the methods to handle certain disputes are mentioned in the contract itself. It is called an Alternative Dispute Resolution clause, and it helps you resolve problems before any legal claims are filed.
This alternative dispute resolution or ADR clause will include methods that govern all disputes during the construction project.
Why Do You Need Alternative Dispute Resolution?
Alternative Dispute Resolution is a clause that both parties sign, after approving a specific in-house process to settle disagreements.
Litigation involving construction projects can be extremely time-consuming and expensive. One wrong or ill-timed move can often bring the entire project to a halt, affecting its profitability. Adding an ADR clause to the contract helps you resolve such issues without having to go to Court.
It offers the following advantages:
The construction field is one industry that works with the mindset, “time is money.” If you have to file a claim against someone or face a lawsuit, you must appear on every court date. In contrast, if you opt for ADR, you can set up mediation or arbitration per your schedule.
It is rare to walk away from court with a satisfactory verdict even when you win. But ADR provides you with increased control over the result. Since it is a voluntary agreement, the ground rules are pre-determined to facilitate arbitration and mutually cooperative mediation.
Any litigation is expensive – more so when it is related to construction. Besides court charges, attorney expenses, and discovery costs, you should pay exorbitant fees to the expert witnesses in the field. Compared to that, ADR resolutions cost less, and involve a compromise where both parties can walk away with minimal losses.
Decision Maker of Your Choosing
When a litigated case goes to court, you have no say in who the judge is going to be. Depending on the details of the lawsuit, there may be a jury, too. However, with an ADR clause in place, you have the power to choose the arbitrator. You can select someone well-versed in construction contracts as they would be able to understand the circumstances better, ensuring a fairer judgment for both parties.
Even though facilitators work in the interests of both parties, they are, first and foremost, loyal to their sector. If things go against the nuances and principles of construction, they would not advise in anyone’s favor. They are neutral, impartial, and without any bias and prejudice.
How ADR Lawyers Can Help
There is a huge distinction between the losing party and the winning party in the traditional way of handling disputes. However, this can be avoided by inserting an ADR clause in the contract, as it is more likely that both parties are satisfied with the judgment.
Experienced construction lawyers involved in alternative dispute resolution are subject matters experts. They know more about your business than jurors who are local community members. Hence, they work towards a solution that ensures continuing relationships between you and your clients.
Construction Law is a Complex Subject
The construction field is an amalgamation of various sciences, such as:
The techniques applied vary based on the requirements of the project and the client. Topography, weather, labor, skills, local building codes, and more affect the completion of any construction. Furthermore, disputes can arise from numerous unforeseeable events.
Laws governing construction are complicated and vast, whereas risk allocation is specialized in nature. Hence, expert testimony will be more reliable than a courtroom determination.
ADR Provides an Equitable Solution
The alternative dispute resolution spectrum encompasses exceeding costs, unexpected delays, and change of scope of work. Whether you are the client, architect, engineer, or contractor, ADR offers a fair solution to all stakeholders in the project.