Settling Construction Disputes Out of Court

There are three main ways to avoid going to court: dispute prevention, dispute resolution, and of course dispute management. Disputes are common in construction, but they can also be a real hassle if you’re ill prepared. Read on for tips on handling these disputes with efficiency.

Dispute prevention requires focusing on the areas of greatest legal risk when it comes to compliance. Then, there has to be a system to monitor contract performance by both parties. One popular method outside of trial is construction mediation, which can save substantial money and hardship for both parties.

In fact, the most important piece of dispute resolution is deciding the route you want to take to solve the dispute. Trial is final, at least in most cases you’re not likely to remain friends or business partners, but construction mediation offers you the chance to save your relationships.

Most construction companies should maintain a budget for solving problems out of court, and then pass the money not paid to attorneys to this budget. Large construction outfits should have a problem- solving team in place so that problems are taken care of before they are considered legal problems and private mediation is required.

Some people believe that most construction disputes can be resolved without a lawyer, but that would underscore the value of some level of mediation. If there is a contract breach, whatever the specifics, it is best to address it immediately before things snowball.

Contractors and owners must do a better job at documentation.  Anyone experienced in private mediation can often do an OK job of documenting everything themselves, especially with simpler strategies.

Bio: Lyle Charles is an expert witness, steel fabrication expert and construction consultant. Lyle Charles Consulting can help expedite your claims and get your crew back to work faster.