Tips for Mediating a Construction Dispute

Mediation is a productive means by which to solve a variety of different disputes, but it is especially effective when dealing with disputes related to the construction industry. Some of the reasons for construction disputes include errors in communication, non-payment, problems with the materials or site, or tension between companies and contractors. If you and the other party want to resolve the conflict in a civilized manner without the expense or time-consuming nature of a trial, consider availing the services of a mediator. He or she can help bring all aspects of the case together and assist you in coming up with an amenable agreement.

What should you know about using mediation to resolve a construction dispute?

Mediation's reputation of allowing its participants to control the situation makes it an optimum choice for those seeking an alternative to legal battles. In addition to relinquishing control, both parties have a higher chance of walking away unhappy with the outcome if the matter is brought to court and turned over to a judge. Mediation makes it possible to create a mutually satisfactory resolution.

The best skilled mediators are able to help disputing parties enter the process with an open mind and flexibility, two qualities often necessary for a successful resolution. Mediators are able to open up the lines of communication and build enough trust between parties so a resolution is within reach, even in instances when it seems far of or as if a stalemate may not break. Essentially, mediation creates a safe environment in which disputing parties can let down their guard and focus on what is most important - resolving whatever issue has arisen.

Mediation also brings a personal element to a dispute. When conflicts arise in projects that have emotional connections to the owners, like construction, it helps to bring a face to the issue and humanize it. When people are making significant positive changes in their lives such as when families build their dream homes or when companies expand, construction issues become common. When something goes wrong, they are not only concerned about the financial aspect, but also by how it affects them emotionally. Some people put their lives on hold and may eventually give up on their plans and dreams when faced with delays and unfulfilled promises. Mediators help each party feel better about the situation overall not only by resolving the nuts-and-bolts issues but also by addressing these emotional aspects of disputes.

A variety of practical benefits also arise from the use of mediation. It costs less than litigation, which is especially important during a time when a great deal of money has likely already exchanged hands. It takes less time and requires less back-and-forth. Mediation is the best option available in situations like construction, where everyone's ultimate goal is to resolve an issue and move onto the next phase.

Met Wilson is a mediator and arbitrator practicing in Portland, Oregon specializing on commercial disputes, claims against broker-dealers, consumer claims, real property disputes, franchise disputes, employee claims, construction claims, contract claims, insurance coverage disputes and business torts. For assistance in any of these areas, please call Met Wilson at 503-972-5090 or visit

This article was published on 23 Aug 2014 and has been viewed 502 times
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