Dispute Resolution Methodologies

Stephen M. Rymal, P.E., Esq.
MDCSystems®
Consulting Engineer

In the construction industry, there are several alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methodologies designed to provide a means to resolve disputes without resorting to formal litigation in court. Some projects set up dispute resolution boards (DRBs) to address disputes in real time before the parties harden their positions and carve them into stone. The advantage of DRBs is that they meet regularly with the parties to recognize and address disputes at their earliest stage when the inherent risks can be truly estimated, appreciated, and shared.

The CSI Effect: The Increasing Role of Forensic Evidence in Construction Litigation

Leigh Erin Schmeltz, Esq.
October 2006

As demonstrated by the popularity of CBS’s television show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, the intriguing field of forensic science is capturing the attention of many across the nation. Beyond entertainment and education, however, forensics plays a very real and crucial role in civil investigations, using technology to investigate and establish facts in the civil courts. Evidence that illustrates wrongdoing, negligence and malfeasance through photographs, detailed reports, and testing can mean the difference between an adverse judgment and a complete discharge from liability. Every detail can help tell a story. Whether the detail is a stress fracture of an improperly driven pile, an e-mail or a letter, the challenge is to preserve the evidence for later interpretation and examination. The intentional or negligent destruction or significant alteration of such evidence, or the failure to preserve property for another’s use as evidence, in pending or future litigation, is called spoliation [Black’s Law Dictionary (8th ed. 2004)].

The Use of Technical Experts as Neutrals in ADR for Complex Construction Disputes

E. Mitchell Swann, P.E.
MDCSystems®
Consulting Engineer

A hot topic in the world of ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) is the extent to which ‘neutrals’ should be qualified and what type of qualifications they should have. Often, the first reaction is that the neutral should have legal training as their predominant skill and some experience with the subject matter of the case. As part of the program at the American Bar Association’s ADR Section Meeting in Los Angeles in April 2005, MDCSystems®, along with the other contributors to this article, discussed the use of technical experts as neutrals in ADR proceedings. Below is a summary of the key issues, ideas and opinions addressed and presented by the panel. The panelists come from varied backgrounds but all have participated in ADR proceedings in one form or another.

Project Documentation: Win the Paper Battle

August 2002

The primary goal in construction recordkeeping is to manage crucial information to facilitate decision-making. A secondary goal is to document key aspects of the project to provide an audit trail or comply with legal or regulatory documentation requirements. Frequently project participants lose sight of these two important goals; and resort to “wall-papering” the project office with reams of useless documents.

Litigation Strategies In Construction Disputes: Being Cost Effective and Winning

John E. Osborn and Eric L. Guhring
October 1999
Originally printed in The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, October 1999

Why Excellent Inhouse Counsel Facilities Cost Effectiveness And Winning

Cost effectiveness and success in the resolution of construction disputes is determined by a recipe. The recipe is different for each dispute because the characteristics and ingredients of each construction project and the participants and their quality vary widely. It is clear that the quality of inhouse counsel significantly affects the cost and success of the dispute resolution.