Mediation and Conflict Resolution
Mediation is a process in which parties in a dispute or conflict appoint a neutral third party, known as a mediator, to facilitate communication and help them reach a mutually acceptable resolution. The mediator is typically a qualified and expert individual in the industry and is acceptable to both parties. The goal of mediation is to resolve the dispute without damaging the existing relationship between the parties.
There is no formal procedure for conducting mediation, and both parties are given equal time to present their evidence in joint meetings. The mediator does not express their personal feelings or views on the matter, but may offer an opinion or ask questions related to the case. The final settlement is reached through negotiation and discussion between the parties involved in the conflict.
A case study of mediation in the construction industry is provided in which a contractor raises a claim for lost productivity due to unreliable drawings and poor planning, totaling approximately $1,000,000. The respondent argues that the contract states that the sole remedy for such delays is an extension of time for completing the work and that there can be no damages.
The mediator clarifies to the respondent's attorney that claims for lost productivity are valid in the construction industry and attempts to persuade the claimant to reduce their claimed amount. After further negotiations and discussion, the parties reach a final settlement through the mediation process.