#56 – The Maryland Construction Network

by Rob

in Podcast Episodes

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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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