by A. Holt Gwyn
For more than a half-century, the domestic construction industry has been a leader in utilizing binding arbitration as a dispute resolution process. A number of factors regularly make arbitration of construction project disputes preferred over litigation. The combination of multiple parties, voluminous documents and correspondence, and layers of regulations and project requirements render a construction dispute difficult and inordinately expensive to prepare and present in court before a lay judge and jury. In arbitration, disputants are able to protect confidentiality, limit the amount of pre-trial discovery, and receive a decision from professionals experienced in the construction industry. Arbitrated construction disputes are also resolved more quickly than those that are litigated, and are easily enforced. This article will discuss generally common types of disputes that reoccur in construction projects, the facets that characterize those disputes, and drafting tips for arbitration clauses for construction and related contracts.