New Jersey construction disputes arise for various reasons, and when you find yourself embroiled in one, your wallet may take a serious hit. Depending on the details surrounding your construction dispute, you may want to try to resolve it through alternative methods before moving forward with litigation.
Per the American Institute of Architects, many contractors choose to try alternative dispute resolution methods in an effort to avoid litigation. Some of the most common types of alternative dispute resolution methods used by contractors include mediation and arbitration.
Sometimes, construction contracts stipulate that you have to try to mediate your dispute before taking additional steps. Mediation involves you and the opposing side or sides coming together with an impartial third party. That third party listens to all sides and then recommends a way to resolve the problem. However, the mediator’s recommendation is just that, meaning it is not a legally binding decision.
The initial arbitration process is somewhat similar to mediation in that both alternative dispute resolution methods involve working with an unbiased third party. However, arbitration differs from mediation in several notable ways. The main difference between mediation and arbitration is that the arbitrator’s word, unlike the mediator’s, is legally binding. This means that courts may enforce the decision of the arbitrator if someone involved in the dispute chooses not to follow the arbitrator’s terms and ruling. In most cases, you may not overturn an arbitrator’s ruling. However, you may be able to attempt to do so if allegations of fraud, bias or similar misconduct exist.
While it may serve you well to try alternative dispute resolution methods as an alternative to litigation, you may still struggle to reach a resolution. In some instances, you may have no other choice than to litigate your construction dispute.