#56 – The Maryland Construction Network

by Robert Bertazon

in Podcast Episodes

Arbitration Clauses in ConstructionMCN Podcast 130x130 Brown Contracts

Christopher C. Dahl joins the MCN podcast today to discuss the use of arbitration as a dispute resolution process for the construction industry. Chris is an associate in Ober|Kaler’s Litigation Group and handles general and commercial litigation, particularly with respect to construction, business, tax controversy and administrative licensing matters. He co-authored, “Statute of Limitations in an Arbitration Clause,” for the Maryland State Bar Association’s, Maryland Bar Bulletin in 2013.

Listen and hear Chris give his thoughts on the following topics:

What is arbitration?

  • Arbitration is a voluntary dispute resolution process, enforceable under state and federal law, by which disputes are decided by a private arbitrator rather than by a court.

Why would parties want to arbitrate?

  • Faster Process
  • Specialized Decision Maker
  • Less Expensive
  • Limited Appeal Rights
  • Arbitration Agreements Can Discourage Small or Frivolous Claims

So why would someone not want to take advantage of arbitration?

  • Usually No Discovery Aside from the Exchange of Documents
  • Powers and Procedures Available in a Court Case for Compelling the Testimony of Non-Party Witnesses are Generally Unavailable
  • Limited Appeal Rights – Bad If You Lose

What to Consider When Agreeing to an Arbitration Clause

  • Tremendous Variation in Types of Arbitration Provisions
  • Scope of Disputes to be Arbitrated
    • All Disputes Arising Under the Contract
    • All Disputes Between the Parties
    • Or, Very Limited Instances
  • Whether Arbitration is to be Governed by Federal or State Law
  • Circumstances in Which an Arbitration Clause Might be Unenforceable
  • Inclusion of Statute of Limitations

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