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Resolve contract disputes without going to court

Construction disputes in California typically occur when one or more parties believe there has been a breach of contract. A claim can be costly for your business and damages your reputation. At Tsao-Wu & Yee LLP, we work with clients to resolve issues in the most effective way possible. If you are a contractor on the brink of legal action, there are options available that may allow for dispute resolution without the time and expense of going to court.

According to Construction Executive, contracts that address each facet of the construction process can reduce the opportunity for disputes to arise. Identifying potential risks in advance, documenting challenges and communicating throughout the process can help resolve issues before they become problems. Use the dispute resolution clause in the contract to designate the methods utilized in the event a conflict arises. Conventional ways that allow for resolution outside of the courtroom include the following:

  • Negotiation occurs between you and the project owner to resolve the issue yourselves.
  • Mediation uses a neutral third party for a mutually satisfactory resolution. While not a legally binding process, it may provide a way to conclude the project without costly claims.
  • Adjudication also uses a neutral third party. However, whereas a mediator assists in resolving the issues, the adjudicator renders a decision. If needed, the court can enforce the judgment. This method allows your operations to continue while resolving the dispute.
  • Arbitration includes a neutral third party with experience relevant to the matter at hand. In circumstances lacking consensus, the arbitrator can render a binding decision. Although this method can be faster than court proceedings, it can cost nearly as much.

Addressing contract disputes as they arise, whether real or perceived is essential. Avoiding legal claims can save both sides time, money and their reputation. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.

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