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How mediation is intended to work in construction litigation

Construction projects small and large can involve multiple parties and have many complicated circumstances. The broad-reaching effects of construction work through an entire building or area can make construction management contracts complex and are often the basis upon which businesses in Florida find themselves involved in construction litigation.

When the parties involved in a conflict need to achieve resolution but wish to avoid a full trial, the option to pursue a settlement via mediation can be the right decision. The United States District Court of Florida provides some parameters on how mediation for a variety of situations including a construction dispute is designed to work. 

Essentially, mediation involves a conference attended by all parties involved in a conflict as well as their attorneys. A neutral third-party mediator approved by the court supervises and guides the settlement discussions. The stated goal of a mediation conference is for the conflicting parties to amicably reach an agreement.  The conference takes place in a special room at the courthouse and should provide a more informal atmosphere than that in a trial courtroom.

The mediator is not allowed to make any legal rulings or decisions in the matter but rather to act as a facilitator by suggesting ideas and alternatives and promoting negotiation between the parties. While the mediator is not allowed to formally hear witness testimony, individual discussions with plaintiffs, defendants, attorneys, insurers or others are allowed. Mediation should be conducted when discovery in a case is largely complete.

At the Welbaum Guernsey law firm, we have helped many clients successfully navigate the process of mediation for construction litigation and understand the nature of this conflict resolution option.

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