I have mediated construction disputes between owners, contractors, subcontractors, materials or equipment suppliers, craftspeople, architects, soils engineers, civil engineers, inspectors, building department officials, lenders, and third parties. These involve new construction, additions, repair work and remodels in a variety of settings, including single family homes, subdivisions, office buildings, government contracts, hospitals, fire stations, factories, libraries, schools, restaurants, shopping centers, warehouses, airplane hangars, gas stations, oil refining plants, storm waste pumping stations, environmental clean up, prefab industrial units, modular laboratory additions, and cogeneration plants. Similar issues arise in related activities, such as the fabrication of custom furniture for a particular home.
Some disputes require more than one session. In one case I mediated, there were meetings among various parties over many days spanning a year while the number of issues and parties grew and further information became available. Claims ran between owner, general, various subs and materials suppliers, and between various insurers involved. At the end of the process, the parties reached a global settlement.
I am familiar with issues arising from performance according to specifications, scope of agreements, risk allocation (including not-to-exceed clauses and delay claims by or against the contractor), change orders, increased costs, changes in scope of work, scope of authority of agents, insurance coverage, performance and payment bonds, multiple party causation disputes, environmental hazards and clean up, retentions and other forms of hold backs, indemnity clauses, and damages calculations. I am also familiar with regulatory and statutory issues concerning enforceability of mechanic’s liens, public works requirements, government bidding rules, permitted work under particular contractor licenses and effect of lack of appropriate licensing, and permit issues.
Many cases involve significant issues of collectability and/or related insurance and bonding issues that also require careful analysis in order to have all parties participate in a settlement.