Alternative Dispute Resolution

Due to the excessive number of cases backlogging the court systems, along with the number of disputes arising within the design and construction industry, there is a substantial need for alternatives to the traditional litigation process for resolving these disputes.  Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) offers multiple formats and techniques intended for the resolution of disputes outside of the typical judicial process that not only reduces costs but also saves time and preserves relationships.  The Architectural Alliance Group offers certain services regarding various types of ADR methods utilized in resolving design and construction related disputes, including:

  • Mediation
  • Neutral Services
  • Job-Site Resolution

Mediation

Mediation is a voluntary, nonbonding process in which the disputing parties select a neutral and impartial party to assist in resolving their differences.  Although the power to determine the final outcome ultimately resides with the conflicting parties, the mediator acts as a catalyst to assist the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable agreement.

The mediation process produces the best results when employed early on when the conflict arises.  The ultimate success of mediation however hinges on the parties’ willingness to resolve the dispute and the mediator’s understanding and technical knowledge and experience of the issues at hand.  Considering that approximately 95-percent of all design and construction related claims “settle” prior to obtaining a judgement at trial, conflicting parties approaching mediation in a good-faith attempt at resolving their dispute will realize huge benefits not offered by other conflict resolution methods.

As a mediator, The Architectural Alliance Group offers a unique approach to resolving disputes.  Unlike the traditional mediation resources, AAG understands the technical aspects of the issues and the industry standards involved in design and construction related disputes.  This understanding allows aAG to offer alternative methods and recommendations that are often overlooked.  When requested, AAG will provide and evaluative approach to the mediation process.  This approach involves analyzing relevant documentation and information regarding each of the issues and offering professional opinions to to the parties regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the claims.

Neutral Services

Design and construction related claims typically require the involvement of subject matter expert witnesses.  Architects, engineer, contractors, and other specialty consultants are routinely retained on behalf of the plaintiffs and defendants involved in a legal claim to evaluate, analyze, and opine on the disputed issues.  A “Neutral” provides similar services as those performed by the experts typically involved in a disputed matter however, a Neutral is retained jointly by both parties to evaluate and analyze the issues and to provide expert opinions and recommendations that will offer assistance in reaching an agreeable outcome.

There have been two methods commonly utilized for the implementation of a Neutral in the context of design and construction related disputes.  The first method occurs once the expert reports have been disclosed by both the plaintiff and defendant and there is a huge divergence between the findings, recommendations, and costs associated with the claim.  At this time a Neutral is sometimes retained by both parties to evaluate the expert reports and to offer opinions regarding the similarities and differences.  The Neutral, when requested by the parties, will offer opinions regarding alternative methods which may be acceptable to all parties.

The second method for Neutral Services occurs early on when the dispute first arises.  In this case, the Neutral is retained by both parties to provide expert services regarding the claim.  These services may include forensic investigations, analysis of relevant documentation, establishing recommendations and preparing cost estimates associated with the recommendations.  Here, both parties utilize the Neutral’s findings and recommendations as the basis for their respective positions.  This method offers benefits not realized by the first method such as substantial cost savings in expert witness and legal fees.

Job-Site Resolution

Disputes within the design and construction industry are far too common and typically result in substantial cost damages and delays to all of the parties involved.  As a result, various alternative dispute resolution methods are often sought after.  In addition to the traditional methods of ADR such as mediation and arbitration, there is another method known as Job-Site Resolution (JSR) that provides many benefits not always found in other ADR options.

Even at a time when disputes arise, it is believed that the original boas established for completing the project remains a common ground between disputing parties.  With these goals in mind, JSR provides the opportunity to keep the project on track while providing resolution benefits to each of the parties.  Reducing costs associated with design and construction related disputes are always in each parties’ best interest.  Delaying the resolution process inherently results in additional delays in completing the project.  Additionally, when the dispute is deferred to another means for resolution, increased costs are also incurred.  Addressing the dispute at the job site when it arises mitigates the potential for damage claims and costly delays.

Addressing disputes early at the job site can also provide for more current and better information.  This technique allows the parties involved to be a direct part of the resolution process keeping all of the issues leading to the dispute fresh in their minds.  Delaying the resolution process typically result ins in lost information and personnel making it difficult to re-establish actual events.  JSR methods provide for a team approach while bringing the parties attention back to the original goals of the project.

Similar to mediation services, The Architectural Alliance Group will act as a catalyst in facilitating a job-site resolution.  AAG will meet with the parties at the job site, review relevant data, evaluate the current conditions, and make recommendations.  AAG will work with each of the team members in developing solutions which are beneficial to all parties.

  • Professional Services

    Owner Representation
    Risk Management
    Forensic Architecture
    Architecture
    Alternative Dispute Resolution
    Litigation Support
    Expert Witness

  • Contact Us

    The Architectural Alliance Group, LLC
    2134 Curtis Street, Bldg. 3, Suite 301
    Denver, Colorado 80205
    T: (303)-295-1418

  • Licenses/Certifications

    Licensed Architect
    NCARB Certified
    Certified CPTED Practitioner
    Physical Security Professional
    Professional Certified Investigator
    Certified Forensic Consultant
    Certified in Homeland Security

Consulting Services

Owner Representation
Risk Management
Forensic Architecture
Architecture
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Litigation Support
Expert Witness

Forensic Architecture

Facility Assessments
Compliance Studies
Controlled Maintenance
Cause and Origin
Incident Investigations
Evidence Documentation
Design Defects
Construction Defects
Repair Design

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