Lane Powell Shareholder Grant Degginger authored an article in Seattle Business magazine’s August 2015 issue titled “The Heat of the Moment: When Inking That Big Deal, Make Sure Dispute Resolution Provisions Are on Your Checklist.” In the article, Degginger discussed the increasing pace of real estate deals, their resulting construction projects and the importance of including dispute resolution provisions in the contract formation stage.
An effective contractual dispute resolution section in a contract should provide mechanisms for resolving issues that arise both during performance and after completion. Sometimes, these mechanisms are referred to as prelitigation and litigation provisions. Prelitigation procedures often are structured to include multiple measures, beginning with attempts to resolve issues at the lowest operational level, and escalating to project level managers and then the respective corporate leadership. In the event that principal-to-principal discussions fail to resolve the issues, nonbinding mediation facilitated by a professional mediator often is selected as the next step. It is prudent for the parties either to agree in advance on a mediator or, alternatively, to designate a process for selecting a mediator.