4 Benefits Of Arbitration To Resolve Florida Construction Disputes
Regardless of the positions of various entities in a construction dispute or defects claim, there is usually one factor they CAN agree upon: It is worthwhile to consider all available, practical options to avoid costly, time-consuming litigation. Informal negotiations can often be successful in overcoming disagreements, but many parties require a process that offers more structure when attempting to resolve disputes: Arbitration. The best description of the proceeding comes from the AAA publication on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) for Construction Disputes. In short, arbitration is a non-judicial process in which parties agree to allow another individual or panel to determine their rights and remedies.
Arbitration is unique in the sense that you can customize the process so that it aligns with your company’s interests and needs. It is also distinct due to the risks involved with the end result: A binding, enforceable order – which could represent a win or a loss. You can count on your Palm Beach County construction law attorney for advice, but it is also important to review the benefits of arbitration to resolve Florida construction disputes.
- Customize the Arbitration Process: Even beyond designating the basics like location and date, you can include numerous specific details in your agreement to arbitrate the dispute. This is particularly important in a matter involving construction law, where the parties may seek arbitrators who have comprehensive knowledge and/or technical experience. You can also determine the number of individuals who will serve on the arbitration panel, keeping in mind the costs.
- Less Time-Consuming Than a Lawsuit: The Florida court system is always busy, so you could be looking at several months to years before the litigation process is complete. During much of this time, your lawyer will be attending court hearings, participating in status conferences, and working through discovery and depositions. The arbitration process works according to a shorter timeframe, often concluding within a few months.
- Reduced Formalities Compared to Court: While similar to a trial in terms of presenting evidence and testimony, arbitration is a more relaxed process. This is an advantage when considering the timeframe, since extended motion practice is the only way to resolve litigation matters. However, informality may also be a benefit if you feel intimidated or overwhelmed by going to court. Because you can custom-tailor your arbitration agreement, you could set an office or boardroom as the location.
- Less Expensive Than Litigation: From #2 and #3 above, you can see how arbitration can be more cost-effective than filing a lawsuit. You will not be incurring attorneys’ fees over the extended timeframe of litigation, especially when you consider relaxed discovery rules and the fact that there is no need to conduct extensive depositions.
Learn More by Consulting with a Florida Construction Law Attorney
Arbitration may not be suitable for every construction dispute, but these advantages make it worth considering. Our Florida construction lawyers at Linkhorst & Hockin, P.A. can guide you through the proceedings, so please contact our offices to set up a consultation.