Construction Law

What Is the Difference Between Litigation and Mediation? featured image

What Is the Difference Between Litigation and Mediation?

Despite doing your best work, you may still encounter property owners who are displeased. When a dispute happens, it’s important to understand the difference between litigation and mediation and how to best defend your business. 

If you are involved in a construction dispute, a Miami construction dispute lawyer from Cotney Attorneys & Consultants can discuss your rights and the best course of action for your case. They will walk you through each step of the legal process and help you understand the difference between arbitration, litigation, and mediation. 

What Is Mediation?

Litigation, by definition, is the act of settling a dispute in a court of law. This can be extremely costly and can result in a very lengthy process requiring depositions, evidence, and witness testimony. Often, litigation is not a preferred method to settle disputes because of how lengthy and costly the process may become. 

Mediation, on the other hand, is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that can be used to settle disputes outside a court of law. Mediation is a process focused on helping both parties meet in the middle. Unlike litigation, which results in a clear winner and loser, mediation can potentially satisfy both parties, which is fundamental to maintaining professional relationships. When one party isn’t suing the other, it tends to keep the relationship between the two parties healthy. Further, mediation is often preferred because it’s less expensive. 

Related: 4 Options to Try Before Pursuing Construction Litigation

Is Mediation a Means to Avoid Litigation?

Mediation isn’t a be-all and end-all solution. As Theodore Roosevelt once infamously stated: “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” Even if mediation fails, you can always resort to your litigation (your big stick) for a more binding decision. 

Mediation may also be part of the beginning of the litigation process. A court may order mediation prior to filing a lawsuit, which gives both parties the ability to compromise. 

Related: Effective Construction Mediation

Why Proceed with Mediation Over Litigation?

The Ninth Annual Arcadis Global Construction Disputes report revealed some interesting findings, including that the average dispute in North America was valued at $16.3 million (US) and lasted a little over 15 months. 

The above-cited report had one more unique finding: construction companies are reaping success by employing ADR methods like mediation. This is because mediation is more time- and cost-effective than litigation. We only have to look at previous years to see how effective these resolution techniques are. The value of construction disputes has been steadily declining since 2014 when disputes were valued at $34.3 million.

Mediation may be stipulated as part of a contract, which is another reason to proceed with mediation over litigation. If you find yourself facing mediation, a Miami construction mediation attorney will help ensure that a compromise is made that keeps both parties satisfied. 

If you have issues with a construction dispute, Cotney Attorneys & Consultant's experienced attorneys will provide sound legal advice to construction professionals at every level and can assist your firm with any construction need. Not only do we advise our clients on legal matters, but we also provide a myriad of other valuable services for construction businesses, including contract review, employment law advice, and litigation and arbitration services. We also advocate for clients involved in licensing complaints, permitting issues, stop-work orders, business immigration, and more. 

If you would like to speak with one of our Miami construction dispute lawyers, contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.