Construction litigation is almost always multi-faceted because of the many factors involved in planning and completing a project. Construction defect cases are particularly complicated because they usually involve some type of injury or hazard as a result of a faulty design or build. They require countless experts and time-consuming document review as they progress through the stages of litigation due to the complex nature of the construction and injury issues at play.
By working with an experienced construction defect mediator on your dispute, you might be able to bypass some of the time and expense spent on educating the judge or jury about the specific issues at play in your case. The presentation given to a construction defect dispute mediator is much more informal than what attorneys would typically present to the judge or jury in court because the rules of evidence do not apply. The parties can speak freely about their positions without worrying about any of their statements being on the record. This helps to focus the discussion more clearly because there is no fear of reprisal from a party presenting his or her side as straightforward as possible.
Suggesting mediation to opposing parties
Though mediation is often not required by the court in Fort Lauderdale construction defect cases, some parties request it as a way to bypass the lengthy and expensive litigation process. If the court has not mandated mediation in your case, one of the first steps to finding out if mediation will work for you is to ask the opposing parties if they would be open to it. The parties almost always split the cost of mediation, which is usually just the hourly fee charged by the mediator.
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Revisiting mediation at later stages in the case
Remember that even if the opposing side does not immediately agree to mediate your dispute at the beginning of the case, there is always an opportunity to pursue mediation at a later date. The parties are free to attempt mediation at any point up to a trial date. It is recommended that you inform the court as soon as possible that the parties have agreed to attempt mediation and may need a postponement to scheduling order deadlines. Judges are often happy to accommodate scheduling requests so that the parties can engage in mediation because they are aware of the much higher success rate of parties resolving their claims without having to tie up the court's resources.
Some parties find that their first attempt at mediation was successful in getting them to conceptualize an acceptable settlement agreement. They may find that they are ready to give mediation another shot after some time has elapsed. This typically occurs at the close of discovery because the parties have a more complete understanding of what the facts are in the case. The parties are free to try mediation another time, and many judges often encourage them to do so as the case gets closer to its trial date.
Construction project delays and scheduling
Mediator David Tupler understands the importance of staying on schedule for construction projects of all sizes and takes his role in attempting to resolve construction defect cases seriously. He invests in the process of understanding each case and working with the parties to determine what their acceptable range of outcomes might be. Mediating a construction defect case with an attorney who does not prioritize the scheduling demands of the parties can be a costly mistake.
Mediating construction defect cases involving injuries
Construction defect cases that involve physical injuries can be even more complex to litigate. The damages at issue tend to be much higher, and the discovery can be even more extensive because of the necessity of examining medical records and deposing treating physicians. These types of cases are excellent candidates for mediation because of the even more complicated nature of the claims and evidence involved.
Plaintiff attorneys who seek to litigate these cases all the way to a bench or jury trial can find themselves wasting time and resources for an uncertain result. Likewise, construction companies defending against these claims can end up delaying their projects and tying up valuable energy and money in a legal battle while the project suffers. This is why mediation is increasingly becoming a preferable route for all sides involved in a construction defect suit.
Are you ready to mediate? Call David Tupler at (954) 383-6577 to set up a workable date and time for all parties to your construction dispute.