Construction disputes frequently result in protracted, expensive, and time-consuming litigation or arbitration. However, before reaching either of those dispute processes, parties should consider two methods that can prove very effective and help avoid their negative effects. The first option is for the principals to meet in person, and the second is to employ the services an experienced, trained mediator to resolve their disputes. Both approaches can be far more cost-effective than typical construction litigation or arbitration, if planned and implemented correctly. Neither is exclusive of the other. Logically, a face-to-face meeting should occur before resorting to litigation or arbitration.
Within the context of settlement discussions—which are inadmissible in any subsequent litigation or arbitration—designated representatives of each party should meet face-to-face in a neutral location. The express purpose should be litigation avoidance. The parties should have an agenda of issues to resolve, divided into different categories based on degrees of complexity.