“I was never ruined but twice: once when I lost a lawsuit, and once when I won one.” Aetna Cas. & Surety Co. v. Leo A. Daly Co., 870 F.Supp. 925, 941 n. 9 (S.D. Iowa 1994) (quoting Voltaire).
ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution)
Construction was among the first industries to successfully adopt methods of resolving disputes without the use of courts. Negotiation has long been part of both the pre-construction and construction processes. To those involved in the industry, this seems natural – because the cost of controversy during construction is so great.
Mediation and arbitration remain the most often used non-judicial methods of resolving construction disputes. In fact, some industry standard form contracts require their use as a routine part of dispute resolution.
But parties are rightfully concerned that their bargains may be lost or their rights ignored by arbitrators—whose decisions are generally difficult to appeal. For that reason, great care must be paired with neutrality to assure that a decision in arbitration is one which is rooted in law and contract. Nor should filing, administrative, and arbitration fees be disproportionate to the dispute or excessive in terms of the service rendered.