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California: Former Union Member Not Bound to Arbitration for His Work Injury Claim

In what appears to be a case of first impression, the issue before a WCAB panel was whether an employee, who was a former union member, could be bound to arbitration. In Chamberlain v. Irwin Industries, Inc ., 2013 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS – (May 13, 2013), t he WCAB, denying defendant employer’s...

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...

An American Abroad: The Divergent Worlds Of U.S. And U.K. Insurance Arbitrations

By Rita Davis, Allan B. Moore, Joanna Page, Stephen Moriarty, QC, and Thomas R. Newman I. INTRODUCTION Rooted in common beginnings, the American and United Kingdom legal systems are cousins with many similarities. As with most relatives perched on opposing branches of a family tree, however...

Some Construction Contract Basics- Necessities and Pitfalls

Recently, I’ve been on an “advising” kick here at Construction Law Musings. My last two posts have been about communication and trusting your gut when it comes to a smooth construction project. This post will be the third in the trilogy (and who knows maybe I’ll have a 4th and...

What You May Be Giving Up When You Agree To "Arbitration" In Your Farming Contracts

Although most people are unfamiliar with the arbitration process, it is common for many form contracts to contain "arbitration" clauses. The Texas Supreme Court, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], recently addressed cotton farmers’ challenge to an arbitration clause...

Is Arbitration Okay Under the Miller Act? It Is if You Don’t Object

I have discussed both payment bond claims under the Miller Act and alternate dispute resolution (ADR) here at Construction Law Musings on many an occasion. A question that is sometimes open is what to do when there is contractually mandated arbitration for claims “relating to the contract or the...

December Publication for Insurance Law’s Authoritative Source! New Appleman on Insurance Law Library Edition, Volume 12 – Litigation, Arbitration and Settlement

The New Appleman on Insurance Law Library Edition will launch its new Volume 12 in December. It is devoted to litigation, arbitration and settlement of insurance coverage disputes and is written by nationally known experts in insurance coverage litigation, including Laura A. Foggan , Lorelie S. Masters...

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...

Construction Law 2014: A Year in Review – RESCHEDULED DUE TO WEATHER

Due to the weather for Thursday, March 5, 2015, Babst Calland’s Construction Law 2014: The Year in Review seminar has been rescheduled and will now be held on Wednesday, March 25, 2015. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you, and we hope that you will be able to join us on this new...

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...

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...

Recent Revisions to AAA Rules

By Brett Saunders Think about the last major construction project you or your company was involved in. Chances are, that project was being performed under a contract that contained an arbitration clause. These clauses require disputes to be resolved through binding arbitration, instead of traditional...

When Is Mandatory Arbitration Not Mandatory?

I have discussed my views on mandatory mediation in construction contracts at other places here at Musings and also discussed how the contract is king here in Virginia . A recent Charlottesville, Virginia Circuit Court case, [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this opinion: lexis.com | Lexis...

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 ...

Split High Court: California Appeals Court Must Enforce Arbitration Agreement

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) A California appellate panel erred when it refused to enforce an arbitration clause contained in a cable provider’s customer agreement, a divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled this morning, finding that the appellate panel’s interpretation was preempted...