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Arbitration In Florida Defective Construction Disputes


Disputes are commonplace in Florida construction projects, and they can lead to significant delays and hassles when the subject matter involves defective construction. Fortunately, it is not necessary to head to court every time a disagreement develops, and most contracts will include provisions on alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Often, the parties will be required to participate in ADR even before they can sue. Florida’s statute on construction defects allows parties to agree on how to handle conflict through out-of-court options, and courts are likely to enforce these clauses.

When including ADR provisions in a construction contract, many parties choose arbitration. The proceeding does not take place in a courtroom, but it is still formal and strict rules apply. You should retain a Florida defective construction attorney whenever a dispute develops that could impact your interests. A summary and comparison of arbitration is also useful.

Arbitration v. Other Legal Options: Arbitration is one ADR option that is relatively close to a trial, because there are certain formalities with the proceeding. Both sides will be allowed to present evidence and arguments, so you can bring in witnesses and documents. The proceedings take place before a finder of fact, who is an arbitrator or arbitration panel. After the parties put on their case, the arbitrators will deliberate and make a decision on who prevails. The results of arbitration in a construction defects dispute are binding.

With mediation as an ADR option, the focus of the process is compromise. During the session, the parties discuss their dispute and a trained mediator guides them in reaching an agreement. If they do agree, the parties create a contract establishing the details – and this agreement is also binding and enforceable. However, the parties can walk away and take their case to court if they do not agree.

 Why Consider Arbitration for Defective Construction Disputes: When you review the benefits of using arbitration to resolve a dispute, you can see why it is a popular choice for ADR.

  • Arbitration can be completed in a shorter timeframe compared to litigation, which can take months or years.
  • When the time to resolution is shorter, your legal fees are reduced.
  • Because arbitration does not take place in a courtroom, parties are generally more relaxed and less intimidated.
  • Arbitrators in construction disputes generally have skill, knowledge, and experience working in the industry.
  • Because arbitration is private and informal, the parties can customize the rules governing the proceedings. You can require arbitrators with specific technical requirements to address defective construction issues.

A Florida Construction Defects Lawyer Can Explain Arbitration v. Other Options

Arbitration certainly has advantages over litigation for disputes on defective construction, and you have a better chance of a favorable outcome when you have an attorney on your side. To learn how our team can assist with your case, please contact Linkhorst Law Firm, P.A. Construction professionals in Palm Beach County can call 561-626-8880 or go online to set up a consultation. We are happy to explain additional details about arbitration and prepare you for the process.


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