Alternative Dispute Resolution – Thumbs Up?
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Alternate Dispute Resolution – ADR
Do you dig Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) as an efficient means to resolve construction disputes? All of the AIA documents, and many other forms, offer ADR as an option. We have been caught in the AAA vortex a time or two. There are “Aaaaa’s” swirling all around us!
Thumbs up for trying to figure out an efficient dispute resolution process. We all know that margins are slim, time is precious and hanging out in court (or at AAA) is not very “slick.” It would be very cool to have a magic wand and tell you what is right in each and every instance. Lately we hear a lot of grumbling by arbitration parties about permissive and expensive discovery without the benefit of the power of a court to deal with protection, scope and other common discovery issues.
Interested parties are trying to develop better methods of resolution, but these are by no means uniform and often are weighed heavily in favor of the most powerful player at the table (typically owner or GC). In the meantime, depending on your place in the game, Fonz, you should try to include language which allows for a choice of dispute resolution. Leave it up to counsel to examine the depth and nature of the dispute and determine which track and venue will be best.