When to Use Mediation in a Construction Dispute

In the world of construction, time is one of the most important assets. When a dispute occurs, everyone benefits from mediating rather than going to trial simply because of the speed of the resolution. While speed is important, that’s not the only reason to engage in construction mediation. Here are some tips on mediating disputes, and the benefits of using mediation over trial.

Reasons to Mediate

One of the prime reasons that two parties choose to mediate a situation is to preserve the relationship. A dispute over materials doesn’t have to break a bond that has lasted for many years, so mediation represents a good opportunity to resolve the tension without parting over irreconcilable differences. Trials tend to end with a one-sided judgment, but mediation usually benefits both parties equally.

Tips to Mediate

First, you’ll need a mediator. Neutral parties with experience, like Lyle Charles, who is an expert in commercial construction projects, are your best candidates. These people need a background in construction, and a firm understanding of the laws. Mediation absolutely relies on this person having no emotional investment in the case.

Approach mediation with an open mind and you’ll reap the biggest rewards from using it. Mediation is just another form of dispute resolution, but it offers a more personal approach to the problem. The costs are generally lower to both parties because you’re only recouping what is lost, not seeking excess damages. Follow this advice and mediation will be generally successful for you, but it’s not the solution for every dispute. If employees were harmed in a way that is irreconcilable (such as a crippling injury due to negligence) trial may be the only option.

Bio: Lyle Charles Consulting offers mediation, material fabrication expertise and interim short term management services for residential and commercial construction projects.