Skip to main content
Top Button
Nate Uhl Quoted in <i>Indiana Lawyer</i>: "Building a New Deal: Mediation, ADR Gains Popularity in C Nate Uhl Quoted in <i>Indiana Lawyer</i>: "Building a New Deal: Mediation, ADR Gains Popularity in C

Nate Uhl Quoted in Indiana Lawyer: "Building a New Deal: Mediation, ADR Gains Popularity in Construction Disputes"

Ice Miller LLP senior counsel Nate Uhl was quoted in the Indiana Lawyer article, "Building a New Deal: Mediation, ADR Gains Popularity in Construction Disputes."

The article included:

Nate Uhl, senior counsel in Ice Miller LLP’s litigation group, said standard industry documents provide a three-step process for dispute resolution. Per the American Institute of Architects, those steps include:
  1. Submitting a claim to the architect. This step is not always helpful, Uhl said, because sometimes the underlying issue doesn’t involve the architect.
  2. Mediation. Going through mediation is a condition precedent to litigation or arbitration, he said.
  3. Litigation or arbitration. These options are the last resort, and the contracts often include a checkbox for the parties to choose which option they prefer.
Uhl also pointed to what’s known as the ConsensusDocs, another three-tiered dispute resolution process that purports to have more balance between all players in a construction project. Those steps include:
  1. Executive-level discussion among the entities involved in the contractual dispute;
  2. Mediation or a nonbinding dispute review board;
  3. Arbitration or litigation, which can consider the results of the dispute review board.
In Uhl’s experience, contract disputes often end up in arbitration or litigation.

When mediation is mandated under a contract, the parties can be less motivated to compromise, Uhl said. Plus, he added, construction projects often involve several parties, ranging from the owner to subcontractors to consultants and more. Getting them all to focus and agree on a solution can be difficult, he said.

Even so, Hancock said he’s never gone through a mediation that was a waste of time.

“You learn a lot about what is really in controversy,” he said.

In Indiana, it’s almost a given that a contract dispute will be sent to mediation, Hancock said. Similarly, Brookie said courts prefer ADR in construction disputes, because litigating those disputes tends to be a time- and paper-intensive process.

But the Hoosier state has the benefit of having the commercial court system, Uhl noted. Those courts are versed in complex matters and are specifically designed to streamline the resolution of commercial disagreements.

To that end, disputes that reach the arbitration/litigation phase often end up in court, Uhl said, with Indiana contracts sometimes specifying that the matter go to the commercial courts. He’s seen a move away from the binding arbitration process, as the cost-savings between arbitration and litigation have lessened and discovery in arbitration has increased.

Click here to read the full article.
View Full Site View Mobile Optimized