Mediation is a process during which all parties involved in a construction dispute come together with a third-party, impartial mediator and negotiate a resolution to the disagreement. The mediator helps the parties come to an agreement that is beneficial for everyone involved. Many companies prefer this method because they are able to control, and therefore reduce, risk and cost. More traditional methods will place control in the hands of a judge or an arbitrator.
This method keeps control in the hands of the disputants. It also increases the likelihood that the agreement will actually be carried out. Because the outcome will most likely be agreeable to everyone—as they had a direct hand in the process—those involved are often more willing to cooperate. If a judge makes the decision and one side clearly receives a better deal, it is likely that the other party will refuse to comply. As long as an issue would normally be subject to arbitration, it can go through the mediation process.
The mediator holds a vital role in the mediation process. Often the first problem a mediator will have to face is strong emotions. There is a good chance that whatever the disagreement is, it has brought anger and a high level of energy and emotion along with it. The mediator role is often filled by an attorney or other legal professional who is familiar with construction disputes. It is important that this individual is an unbiased and neutral participate who oversees the process, defuses tense situations, and offers compromises that are advantageous for all parties. They must continually remind everyone involved that a compromise will be better and cheaper than what will most likely come from a lawsuit.
When the mediation procedure begins, the mediator will have everyone gather together in a neutral environment. Each party will state the problem so that all the issues are out in the open. The mediator will then ask questions to gather all important and relevant information. It is the mediator’s duty to identify the problem throughout the conversation. It is important that common goals are found and a middle ground is reached. Once all the problems are identified, the bargaining process can begin so that an agreement can be reached. Often the mediator will offer a proposal and give the parties an opportunity to modify it. The discussions will continue until a final solution has been reached.
Looking for a solution?
If you are looking for a solution to your construction dispute that does not involved costly litigation, speak with Crary Buchanan to learn more about your available options, including mediation. Our law firm is well versed in Florida’s construction laws and we can offer our guidance throughout the mediation process.
To learn more about resolving a construction dispute through mediation, contact our Stuart, Martin County construction dispute attorneys at 772-287-2600 today.