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Arbitration and Mediation for Engineers

0.8 CEUs | Sunday, September 25

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Nils J. Gransberg, Ph.D., AC, A.M.ASCE

Purpose and Background

Change is an inevitable feature of design and construction project management as new scope requirements are discovered, unexpected situations become manifest, and as a direct function of the layers of authority, responsibility, and contractual duties and obligations. Often disagreements in how change is managed result in disputes which cannot be resolved informally. Arbitration and mediation procedures defined in the project contracts provide an opportunity to resolve disputes without resulting in litigation. The monetary sums associated with disputes can be significant, so it is critically important for engineers to fully understand how contract disputes can be resolved in arbitration and mediation.

This course will introduce the fundamentals of arbitration and mediation processes as they are defined in the dispute resolution clause(s) of typical contracts. Attendees will be introduced to tools and techniques to adequately prepare for a successful arbitration or mediation process. This course was built drawing from case law, common practices, and real experiences supporting and participating in arbitration and mediation of a wide range of contract disputes in the heavy civil and infrastructure industries. Learning objectives are reinforced with a real-world case study and an informal, participatory style of instruction.

Seminar Benefits and Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Explain the salient issues covered by the arbitration and mediation clause in your contracts
  • Learn the fundamentals of forensic schedule and cost analysis to prepare for in a mediation or arbitration so you will be successful
  • Apply the information gained through participation in a case study exercise
  • Apply fundamental principles of arbitration and mediation

Who Should Attend

This course is applicable to anyone who manages projects and may need to prepare for arbitration or mediation processes. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Consulting and design-build firms
  • Project and construction managers
  • Contractors
  • Government agencies and public owners
  • Private owners and developers
  • Design-build firms
  • Architects
  • Attorneys

Assessment of Learning Outcomes

Achievement of the learning outcomes will be assessed through class exercises, class discussions following the presentation of each major topic, case studies, and a short post-test.

Seminar Outline

  • Introduction to construction administration
    • Definitions, disputes, resolution methods
    • Public vs. private
  • Essential principles of design and construction contract law
    • Tendering, contract formation
    • Breach, design documents
  • Principles of mediation and arbitration
    • Rules, conduct of proceedings
    • Findings, judgements, awards
  • Preparing for mediation
    • Forensic description of time and cost changes
    • Developing direct and indirect impacts
  • Preparing for arbitration
    • Developing the case brief
    • Supporting documentation
  • Alternative dispute resolution case study

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