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Avoiding Claims & Disputes: It’s the People

Large construction projects are risky, and when they end with claims or disputes, the blame is usually placed on unfair contracts, planning or estimating errors, design deficiencies, unforeseeable delays, poor productivity, or other process or technical factors. These are simply indications of the real root cause: the project management capability of the companies working together on the project. [Full Article]

Fire Rebuilds Stoke Flames of Claims if Not Handled Appropriately

Today’s refining, chemical, petrochemical, and heavy industrial facilities process and utilize hazardous chemicals, and despite the best laid plans and procedures, accidents do happen. Accidents could range from fires to explosions, resulting in chemical releases and damage to equipment and the facility, hopefully with minimal or no injury to personnel. Insurance is often called upon to reimburse the owner for property damage and business interruption expenses following the fire, ...[Full Article] [Article PDF]

In Construction Claims, A Picture is Worth More Than a Thousand Words

“A picture is worth a thousand words” is an old proverb that suggests complex stories can be described by just a single picture. The same is true with respect to proving construction claims, where one visual or graphic can be more persuasive and influential than a thousand words. Construction is a complex and risky process requiring extensive planning, engineering, procurement, and construction management. When all of these activities operate in concert with each other, the ...[Full Article] [Article PDF]

Keeping Proposal Promises from Becoming Contractual Obligations

Contractor’s proposals are often the first step in a courtship between owners and contractors. Initially, everyone is optimistic for a successful outcome. The honeymoon period may last the entire project and culminate in a project that is delivered on-time and on-schedule. However, in today’s overheated construction environment, costs may rise, labor may become scarce, engineering may be late or defective, and equipment and material may arrive at site late or defective, all of which may strain ...[Full Article] [Article PDF]

Effective Use of Experts in Mediation

There is an ongoing debate as to whether or not it is advisable to use experts in mediation. In many cases that go to mediation, the issues in dispute are often relatively simple, strictly fact-based, and do not require damage calculations. In such cases, experts are often not required. This is generally not the case in the engineering and construction industry. Issues and disputes that occur during construction projects are typically not black and white issues. Using experts in these... [Full Article]

Mediation - A Process of Assisted Negotiation

"I'll see you in court!" Those volatile words are not uncommon when conflicts arise on a construction project. But nobody really wants to be in court. There is an alternative - mediation. Construction projects require contractual interdependence between many parties and frequently the complexity and nature of those relationships lead to conflict. Construction disputes are usually intricate and when they are not resolved, they commonly escalate to legal action involving arbitration or... [Full Article]

Negotiation: Working It Out

Negotiation is a process for satisfying needs. People negotiate daily in various situations. Individuals negotiate with others for everything from the cost of a car to the choice of restaurant for dinner. Negotiation is a form of cooperation and leads to compromises acceptable to both sides, bringing business projects to fruition. Many individuals become particularly skilled in negotiation through their life experiences. Others study the traits and techniques of successful negotiators... [Full Article]

When Profits Are at Stake - Increase Your Ability to Persuade

Communicating Effectively Few things are as important as the ability to communicate effectively, particularly in construction claim negotiations and litigation. Disputes in the construction arena often involve technical information and damages, especially if indirect damages are incurred, such as productivity losses or delay costs. The party who incurred the damages needs to be able to communicate to the other side why the damages were incurred and the impact certain events had on... [Full Article]