Private Mediation for Construction
Disputes happen in the world of business. It’s not a question of luck, it’s a question of time. The longer you remain in business, the more likely you are to get sued. Fortunately, there are alternatives to court that can help end your disputes peaceably.
How it Works
Private mediation is a legal practice that involves an impartial mediator to help solve a conflict between two parties. Private mediation is like an alternative way of settling a dispute, preventing the two parties from going to court while still holding each member accountable for whatever deal is worked out. Mediators evaluate both sides and try to help each come to an understanding, and they serve an important role in our legal system.
Typically, someone knowledgeable in the dealings of the case will mediate. This person isn’t privy to the intimate details of either side, and so is able to maintain impartiality throughout the proceedings.
Mediation to Maintain Professionalism
Mediation is preferable to going to court, especially if one or both parties plan to maintain professional contact. Although mediation can uncover some inconvenient truths, it often ends with both parties feeling satisfied with the outcome. The main goal of mediation is reaching a deal that is fair to both sides, taking the needs of each into account.
It also plays a role in highly technical instances, like construction & turnaround services. Mediators in these roles have a technical background that gives them special insight into the process. This is crucial when moderating disputes that arise between companies, or an individual and a contractor. They may have prior experience ordering construction materials, or scheduling jobs, for instance.
Mediation as a Cost Cutting Measure
Mediation also plays a role in cutting the costs of court proceedings, and helping to save face. In mediation, no one needs to accept fault. There is simply a deal that is reached. The costs of defense are lowered because attorneys don’t usually need to get involved. Although it’s not unheard of to involve attorneys, the best mediations are settled between individuals.
Mediation won’t solve every problem. Occasionally, there are times where it’s important to hold someone or a company legally accountable for something. Mediation doesn’t solve those issues. Mediation is best for individuals who wish to maintain relationships and part amicably. It’s worth considering how much your business relationships mean before you pursue legal action, as it can be a road you don’t come back from.
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Lyle Charles is a construction consultant who specializes in interim short term management services, and mediation. Lyle Charles is also an expert witness for the construction industry.