A Better Way

by E. M. Shanley, Construction Consultant; 633 Trumbull Ave., Novato, CA 94947,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1989, Vol. 59, Issue 12, Pg. 58-60

Document Type: Feature article


Shanley recommends providing for a dispute review board in contract documents as a way of avoiding long and costly litigation or arbitration as a result of disputes. A dispute review board is a three person group made up of experienced construction professionals, to whom the owner and contractor agree to refer disputes that arise during the course of construction that they can't settle among themselves. The main value of the board is its speed—disputes are resolved while the job is in progress—which helps avoid rancor between the disputants as well as save money in comparison to other methods. The decision of the board is not binding, but participants will generally accept it. The board's recommendation and the facts supporting would be available to a trial court or arbitration panel, who would be unlikely to ignore the finding of a body of experts examining the issue while it was still fresh, he says. Shanley describes the process of dispute review and offers examples of several well-known projects that have benefited from its use.

Subject Headings: Dispute resolution | Reviews | Arbitration | Construction management | Contracts | Litigation | Professional development | Owners

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