Can I Be Forced to Arbitrate a Dispute Over a Construction Contract?
Construction contracts should protect both owner/investors and builders/general contractors. The construction contract sets forth the terms under which a build, upgrade or remodel will take place. The more comprehensive and detailed the contract, the more guidance the agreement will provide to each party regarding his or her individual obligations.
When a dispute arises, the construction contract as well as state law will determine how the conflict is resolved. In many cases, parties are required to arbitrate a dispute over a construction contract. This is a different process than using the court system and you must be represented by an experienced Las Vegas real estate lawyer who understands the arbitration process.
At Pintar Albiston, LLP, our attorneys are not only experienced litigators but we have also represented many clients in arbitrating construction disputes. We are here to help with your case, so call today to learn more about how we can assist you.
You May Be Forced to Arbitrate a Dispute Over a Construction Contract
Many standard form construction contracts contain a clause called an arbitration clause. This provision of the contract prohibits the parties from suing or pursuing a case in federal court. Instead, when a disagreement or problem arises, the case must be presided over by an arbitrator. The arbitrator will interpret the contract and listen to arguments from the involved parties and will make a legally binding decision.
You are going to be bound by the arbitration clause in most cases, even if you were not necessarily aware of this contract provision or its implications at the time when you signed the contract. This is because you have a duty to read under the law. You are assumed to know what is in contracts that you sign.
Because of the duty to read and the laws that require courts to enforce valid arbitration clauses, you will not be able to sue if a contract has an arbitration clause except in very limited circumstances. The only exceptions to this rule exist when the contract is a contract of adhesion (an agreement in which you had no negotiating power) and contains an arbitration clause that favors the drafter of the contract.
Outside of the rare exceptions, you cannot sue to resolve your disputes. If you attempt to use the court system, the other party can have the case dismissed because of the arbitration requirement.
Arbitrating a Dispute Over a Construction Contract
While you may be forced to arbitrate a dispute over a construction contract, this is not necessarily a bad thing in every case. Arbitration can take less time than going to court, and arbitrators can be chosen who have an understanding of the construction industry so they will be well-equipped to interpret the terms of your construction agreement.
You do, however, want to have an experienced attorney representing you to ensure that the arbitration clause is enforceable and that the arbitration proceedings are fair. A Las Vegas real estate lawyer at Pintar Albiston, LLP can represent you throughout the arbitration process and assist you in ensuring that your rights are protected as your construction contract dispute is resolved. Call or contact us online today to learn more.