Don't Litigate. Negotiate!

by Frank Muller, (M.ASCE), President; Metro Mediation Services, Ltd., New York, NY,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1990, Vol. 60, Issue 12, Pg. 66-68

Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: Because of the nature of the construction business, contract disputes are often the rule rather than the exception. Rather than spending millions of dollars and many years on litigation, the construction industry is increasingly turning to alternate dispute resolution (ADR) to settle problems. Traditional arbitration is an ADR method that has been used for many years to settle disputes. But contractors and owners sometimes seek more conciliatory methods. Techniques include negotiation, minitrials, contract dispute review boards, rent-a-judge, mediation, court-appointed masters, expert resolution, and new variations of binding and nonbinding arbitration. The common thread in each is the search for a voluntary, cost-effective and quick procedure to resolve a dispute. Not all disputes, however, can be settled through ADR, especially when the parties present during the hearing don't have the authority to forge an agreement on the spot.

Subject Headings: Construction industry | Arbitration | Contracts | Claims | Negotiations | Litigation |

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