Alternative Dispute Resolution

by Kneeland A. Godfrey, Jr., Sr. Ed.; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1986, Vol. 56, Issue 3, Pg. 56-58

Document Type: Feature article


Usually it takes far less money and time to resolve a construction dispute if a lawsuit and court trial can be avoided. In the mini-trial, te two or more parties agree to radically reduce time and money spent pre-trial and in the trial itself. They jointly pick a judge. As with most Alternative Dispute Resolution methods, they enter the process voluntarily, and can accept or reject their judge's decision. That is a key reason why they're willing to streamline—they can still bring suit. The biggest private dispute-resolver is the American Arbitration Assn., which arbitrated 3,700 cases last year; in 10 years AAA predicts most construction disputes will be mediated. Also described is a unique arbitration clause in the construction documents for a big hotel/condo project recently built on the Atlantic Coast, and a landmark construction-related mini-trial. Finally, a dispute resolution approach proposed by the Deep Foundation Construction Industry Roundtable is described.

Subject Headings: Arbitration | Dispute resolution | Foundation construction | Litigation | Coastal environment | Deep foundations | Construction industry

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