Just like any other type of business in California, construction disputes can arise between property owners, contractors and subcontractors. Construction disputes can be costly and time consuming. However, there are several methods for resolving a construction dispute in a way that is acceptable to all involved.
Negotiating a resolution before the dispute begins
Sometimes it is possible to agree to a dispute resolution method before one arises. The parties to the construction contract may be able to negotiate an agreement prior to beginning work that if a dispute arises, the parties will try to reach a resolution between themselves before turning to other forms of relief.
Mediating a dispute
One form of alternative dispute resolution is mediation. The mediator is a neutral third party who facilitates discussions between the parties to the dispute as they work together to reach a satisfactory resolution. Mediation is not legally binding, but it can save time and money, as well as preserve a relationship that would otherwise deteriorate.
Arbitrating a dispute
Unlike a mediator, an arbitrator is a decision-maker. Arbitration is similar to a trial, but with different rules and requirements. In general, each side to the dispute will provide documents and facts to the arbitrator, who will make a decision that favors one side or the other. In some jurisdictions, arbitration is legally binding.
Litigating a dispute
If alternative forms of dispute resolution do not work, the parties to a construction dispute may litigate the matter. Litigation involves a trial before a judge. It is complex, and will lead to a legally enforceable decision, although this decision can be appealed.
Learn more about construction disputes
Ultimately, this post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Those who want more information on their rights and options in a construction dispute are encouraged to explore our firm’s website to learn more.