Mediation Of Construction Disputes
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People often confuse mediation and arbitration. Both arbitration and mediation are types of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Mediation is essentially a settlement conference, where an impartial judge, attorney or other individual (called a mediator) attempts to arrange a resolution between parties with conflicting positions.
Conversely, an arbitrator (see our page on arbitration) essentially functions similar to a judge and makes a ruling in favor of one person or the other. The mediation process is voluntary, and no one forces anyone to settle on any terms, but the mediator may make a recommendation. Some mediators evaluate each side's strengths and weaknesses. This is called an evaluative approach. Other mediators simply use a facilitative approach to arrange a compromise, without evaluating either side's position.
At the Law Office of Steven R. Lovett, our Los Angeles construction lawyers have represented property owners, contractors, and design professionals in hundreds of mediations in real estate and construction law. We are committed to helping our clients find resolution in the most cost-effective way possible for their unique circumstances.
The primary benefit to mediation is avoiding or minimizing the cost of a full-blown trial or arbitration. It also permits each side to have a say in the outcome of the dispute, rather than leave the outcome in the hands of a judge or arbitrator. Finally, mediation permits an outcome which can be confidential, and the terms can be made private.
How can you pursue mediation?
Parties may agree to send any dispute to mediation by simply contacting a mediator or one of many organizations that maintains panels of mediators who are available for a fee. Some contracts have a provision which requires mediation of a dispute prior to filing suit or demanding arbitration. Many courts and local prosecutors offer low-cost neighborhood mediation services. Sometimes, after a lawsuit has been filed, the parties will agree to send the matter to a mediator or a judge may refer a case to a mediator.
What will a lawyer do during mediation?
In mediation, your attorney acts as your advocate, but also offers you an opportunity to play a more meaningful role in the outcome. We supply the experience, legal knowledge, and dedication to guide you towards success.
If you need the help of a skilled California mediation attorney, call us.
Need help with mediation? Contact our firm today!
The Law Office of Steven R. Lovett has represented parties in hundreds of mediations of various types. Our involvement in ADR goes back to 1978, when Steven R. Lovett co-authored a book on arbitration.
Contractors, design professionals and property owners alike need a lawyer who has extensive experience in mediation. Our firm has the reputation for efficiency, experience and ethics that is trusted throughout Southern California.
Contact a Los Angeles construction lawyer by e-mail or call us for a free initial telephonic consultation.