Construction Mediation: Tips For Florida Contractors
Not all legal or contractual disputes go to litigation and, for Florida construction contractors, a lawsuit is probably the last thing you want to encounter. Fortunately, there are alternative dispute resolution options that you can take advantage of to avoid the courtroom, and one effective approach is mediation. As defined by Florida law, mediation is a proceeding overseen by a professional who serves as a facilitator in alleviating conflicts. The objective of mediation is for the parties to reach a compromise by agreement, which is often possible because of the specialized skills of the mediator.
By identifying disputes, discussing solutions, and exploring settlement options, the mediator gets parties closer to agreement than they might on their own. However, while informal, it is still wise to retain skilled legal counsel. You have important interests to protect, so having a Jupite Florida contractor representation lawyer on your side is crucial. Additional tips for mediation in Florida construction contract disputes include:
Appreciate the Benefits of Mediation
One of the main attractions of mediation is the potential for avoiding litigation, but additional advantages include:
- By avoiding a courtroom, you also reduce costs and time to resolution. Mediation might last just a day, though more complex cases could take a few days.
- The mediator does not issue a ruling or making findings during the proceedings, so the outcome is not binding on the parties. You can still take legal action if there is no agreement.
- Decision-making authority belongs to the parties, giving them more control over their dispute.
- If the parties do reach an accord, the agreement is memorialized in a binding contract that IS enforceable in court in the event of breach.
Keep Emotions in Check
Professionalism is important to contractors, but it can be hard to keep your cool when the other party presents an outrageous settlement proposal. Always remember that the mediation is about getting closer, and you may start off quite far apart. Compromise envisions that parties will walk away satisfied, even if neither gets exactly what they want. The benefits of mediation take precedence over win-lose.
Embrace Creative Solutions
Money is always at the core of a construction dispute, but – because the parties have control over their destiny – it is also useful to think outside the box. If compensation can be resolved through work or materials, the arrangement may balance the interests of the parties. When an alleged construction defect is the heart of the dispute, an extended warranty might ease concerns and open the door to compromise.
Discuss Mediation with a South Florida Contractor Representation Attorney
These tips should prepare you for mediation in a construction contract dispute, but the information is also useful for demonstrating the benefits of the process. Our team at Linkhorst & Hockin, P.A. focuses on Florida construction law, so we are prepared to advocate on your behalf at mediation. Please call 561-626-8880 or visit us online to set up a consultation at our office in Palm Beach County. We can advise you on what to expect after reviewing your circumstances.