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Arbitrators can decide validity of arbitration provision in construction contracts

By Edward Lozowicki and Robert Sturgeon Binding arbitration of construction disputes is frequently required by standard industry contracts. For example, the contract forms published by the American Institute of Architects either require or provide an option for arbitration under the Construction Industry...

Construction Law Musings: You Have Choices (Litigation Versus Mediation)

As I sit here thinking about an impending trial in the Goochland County General District Court, it hit me that I also serve as a mediator in that court from time to time. Coincidentally, I will be “wearing both hats” (litigator and mediator) this week on back to back days. It will be interesting...

To Require Arbitration or Not To Require Arbitration

Many, if not most, construction contracts that I review during the course of my practice day include a mandatory arbitration clause. Most of these refer in a blanket manner to AAA Construction Industry Rules. The topic for this post is not whether such clauses are enforceable or whether they are one...

The Anatomy of a Construction Dispute Stage 3- The Last Straw

Over the past two weeks here at Construction Law Musings, I’ve discussed the first two stages of a typical construction dispute (if such a thing exists): the claim , and how to bring heat short of litigation/arbitration . As promised, this week I’ll be discussing the next step or “last...

Anatomy of a Construction Dispute- An Alternative

Over the past three weeks, I’ve discussed three “stages” of a construction dispute from the claim , to how to increase the pressure for payment, to the litigation . While these three steps are all too often necessary tools in your construction collection arsenal, they are expensive...

Anatomy of a Construction Dispute- A Wrap Up

Over the past four weeks, I’ve “mused” on the “stages” of a construction dispute. What started as a kernel of thought in my mind turned into what has seemed to be a popular set of four posts that I hope were both informative and interesting. Because of the great feedback...

When is Mediation Appropriate for Your Construction Case?

Here at Construction Law Musings, I have often discussed mediation as a good alternative to the expense and headaches of litigation. What I have discussed less often are the circumstances in which it is most appropriate to consider or even push for mediation. The obvious and clearest time that mediation...

More Musings From the Mediation Trenches

As those that read this construction blog on a regular basis know, I became a Virginia Supreme Court certified mediator a few years ago. I did so because I believe that mediation as a form of alternate dispute resolution is in most cases a much better alternative to resolve a construction dispute than...

Alert: AAA Construction Industry Rules Update

The American Arbitration Association has made some needed updates to their Construction Industry Arbitration and Mediation Rules, effective July 1, 2015. Among the changes listed at their website are: • A mediation step for all cases with claims of $100,000 or more (subject to the ability of...

Important Changes to the AAA Construction Industry Mediation and Arbitration Rules

By W. Alexander Burnett , Partner, Williams Mullen Introduction The American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) is one of the primary providers of alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation and arbitration, in the United States. Many construction contracts call for disputes to be...

Mediation in the Zero Sum World of Construction

Construction is a zero sum game. What do I mean by that? I mean that even where you, a construction professional with a great construction lawyer , have reviewed and edited a subcontract presented to you or provided a well drafted contract to the other party that contains an attorney fees provision ...