Mediating construction disputes

On Behalf of | Feb 13, 2024 | Construction Contracts |

There are many details that need to be considered when a Missouri home or commercial space is being built or renovated. In some cases, these details may be overlooked because of communication errors or other mistakes. Ideally, disputes between contractors and owners will be resolved through mediation as opposed to litigation.

Mediation compared to litigation

Mediation is a voluntary and nonbinding process that allows each party in a dispute to resolve it in a collaborative fashion. Mediation sessions are overseen by a qualified neutral party who ideally has the respect of everyone involved. This neutral party will help to facilitate a conversation and ensure that contractors and owners treat each other with respect throughout.

Potential benefits of mediation

There are several potential benefits of mediation such as the ability to control the outcome of a case. Typically, when a judge decides a construction law case, both sides must abide by whatever the judge orders. In addition, mediation is a collaborative as opposed to an adversarial process, which means that it provides an opportunity to preserve relationships. Finally, mediation is a confidential process, which means that all parties can speak freely without fear of giving away sensitive information. Typically, this leads to more productive conversations that pave the way for a situation to be handled outside of court.

Both sides must be willing to communicate

For mediation to work, both sides must be willing to communicate in a good faith manner. Otherwise, it may be best to go straight to litigation or perhaps to arbitration. It is worth noting that multiple mediation sessions can be held if necessary to ensure that each side can reach a deal that makes sense.

If an agreement is reached in mediation, its terms are kept confidential, and neither side is required to admit that it did anything wrong. However, each party to an agreement must abide by its terms to avoid further issues such as breach of contract claims.