Arbitration is a type of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). This approach to resolving differences with another party contrasts with litigation. Many construction contracts include arbitration clauses in them. These require homeowners and contractors to try to resolve their differences with the help of an arbitrator or mediator instead of in a North Carolina courtroom in front of a judge.
One of the main reasons why North Carolina construction contracts frequently contain arbitration clauses is because pursuing this approach to dispute resolution often results in quicker settlements than litigation does.
Judges here in Winston-Salem operate on schedules. They only have a limited amount of time set aside to hear each case on their calendars. If they can’t get the plaintiff and defendant to reach an agreement during one of these hearings, then they’ll often have to schedule another one. Weeks or months may pass before the next hearing is held.
Arbitration is much different in this respect. An arbitrator presides over these types of proceedings. They generally take place at that individual’s office instead of in a courtroom.
The arbitrator is an independent, third party. Their sole goal is to help guide the two opposing parties toward a compromise. That individual is responsible for typing up the settlement that both sides have agreed to and submitting that document to the court. A judge will generally review and sign off on it making it a court order.
Many contracts call for arbitration because it helps both parties move toward a swifter resolution of their dispute. A common saying is time is money. Litigation can be quite costly as both sides must prepare for their hearings including arranging for depositions of witnesses and arguing their cases in court. Arbitrators often try to find ways to help parties reach cost-effective resolutions to their disputes by eliminating unnecessary and costly outside testimony.
If you and your contractor are having difficulty seeing eye-to-eye about how to best resolve a construction defect case, then you may find that arbitration is the ideal solution for helping the two of you talk through and try to resolve your differences. An attorney can be there for you to protect your interests while you’re at the bargaining table. This will ensure that you receive the concessions that you deserve in your case.