Louisiana Construction Law: The Benefits of Arbitration
Construction law in the state of Louisiana and elsewhere can be a nuanced and complex sector. As such, it is not uncommon for disputes, disagreements, and miscommunications to occur. When these disputes present themselves, the involved parties are often required to pursue resolution through a process called arbitration. Contractual conflict resolution provisions which compel the parties to arbitration are fairly common in the construction industry. Leveraging the experience and expertise of a seasoned construction law legal team can be very beneficial if you find yourself facing arbitration. As with all methods of dispute resolution, there are pros and cons of arbitration. Here are a few of the advantages offered in construction law arbitration.
Arbitration Offers Professional Privacy
Arbitration hearings, unlike litigation, generally do not become public record. While the overall result of an arbitration may eventually become public record, the hearing and presentation of evidence will all take place in a private setting as opposed to a courtroom open to the public. This is an aspect of arbitration that can be beneficial, especially when the subject of the arbitration can be intellectually, commercially, or reputationally sensitive.
Arbitration Can be More Economical
Pursuing full-fledged litigation can quickly become a costly endeavor. Due to the more streamlined discovery period and the reduced procedure length of arbitration, the overall legal costs are often lower in comparison.
Construction Law Arbitrators Have Industry Specific Expertise
Unlike litigation where cases are randomly allotted to a judge, the parties to an arbitration have the ability to give their input on the individual who will arbitrate their case. Generally, the parties will be given a list of potential arbitrators and will then be given the opportunity to “strike” arbitrators which they feel will not be beneficial to their case. It is common for these “pools” of arbitrators to consist of practitioners who typically have specific designations, certifications, experience, and expertise in the appropriate sector. This means that the person making the ultimate decision in the arbitration may be more familiar with the industry and its technicalities. This can be an advantage, as a judge or juror in a jury trial may not be as familiar with the complexities of construction disputes as an arbitrator with years of experience in the industry.
Arbitration Rulings Cannot be Appealed
Another unique aspect of arbitration is that there is generally no appealing the arbitrator’s final decision. Of course, this aspect of arbitration will generally only benefit one party to the arbitration, depending on the outcome. However, the fact that arbitrations are generally not subject to appeal at least gives the parties a sense of finality knowing the arbitrator’s ruling cannot be tied up for years through appeals, which is often the case in litigation.
Arbitration is a more formal legal process than mediation but is generally less time-consuming and costly than pursuing litigation in court. If you find yourself facing arbitration, or even if you have questions regarding the conflict resolution provisions in your contract, feel free to give Laperouse, APLC a call.