Mediation Vs. Arbitration clauses for construction defects in Oklahoma are common in many construction contracts. If you have recently hired a contractor to repair or replace something on your home or business, you have likely signed a contract that included some kind of mediation or arbitration provision. These provisions are in most service contracts and require the parties to go to arbitration or mediation instead of suing each other in Court. In a business dispute mediation and arbitration have advantages and can help solve disputes outside of the Court by saving money for each party and coming to a mutually beneficial solution.
What Is Mediation
Mediation is one form of alternative dispute resolution that can be used either before the Court or even during a lawsuit. As stated earlier, some contracts require the parties to go to mediation before they start a court proceeding against each other.
During mediation, a neutral third party mediates the conversation between the parties regarding their dispute. Mediators themselves have no decision-making power. Instead, they can help both parties communicate their concerns in a manner conducive to problem-solving. The process is usually a series of discussions with just one party and the mediator who goes back and forth to help them reach a compromise and a solution to the problem.
Once a solution has been reached, one of the parties usually drafts an agreement, and both sign it. Unless this agreement is entered into by the Court or specified in the agreement, the results of mediation are non-binding. Therefore, the agreement doesn’t force either party to follow it. From this perspective you may choose between mediation vs. arbitration depending on your goals.
What Is Arbitration
Arbitration is also an alternative dispute resolution technique that involves a neutral third party. In arbitration, the arbitrator acts more like a judge in a law court. The arbitrator hears evidence from both sides while in the same room. After all the evidence is presented, the arbitrator decides based on the evidence provided. Just like a mediation clause both clauses sometimes include provisions for which party pays attorneys fees.
Sometimes the parties decide to agree on their own, and the arbitrator agrees to it. But most of the time, the arbitration just makes the decision for the parties. At this point, it is up to the parties if the decision is binding, but if it is non-binding, the parties can still go to Court to settle the dispute.
When To Use Mediation And Arbitration
Mediation and arbitration are usually used when the parties are looking to solve a dispute without intimidating, costly judges. Mediation can be entered into by an agreement between the parties or ordered by a judge during a lawsuit.
Arbitration is generally agreed to in service contracts before any issues arise. By doing this, the parties can predict the legal fees and how the dispute may be handled. These agreements also outline what type of arbitration will be used and what rules will be followed. The most common is the American Arbitration Association standards and practices.
Business Attorneys Near You
An experienced team of business attorneys can represent you through mediation or arbitration. We can also help draft construction contracts that protect your interests in there event of a contract dispute. Attorneys are specially trained to properly represent clients and have a skill at negotiating better deals for them and helping them reach a mutually agreeable solution.
With an attorney representing your interests, you will be able to have the upper hand if you need to go to mediation or arbitration to settle a dispute. The attorneys at Kania Law Office stand ready to represent you. Call (918) 743-2233 now for a free first consultation, or contact us online to schedule your appointment.