1301 Luisa Street, Suite E • Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505 [Map]
(505) 989-8558 • Contact me by email!
serving Santa Fe, Taos, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Ratón,
About Commercial And Construction Mediation
Clarify goals or resolve disputes in an atmosphere of mutual respect
People doing business together—in a construction project or a commercial venture—have entered into some form of contract. The contract may be a simple verbal agreement sealed with a handshake—or a complex legal document. In either case, disputes may arise concerning the process or goal of the contract. Mediation provides an opportunity for a safe conversation to renew the agreements and the underlying relationships.
Likewise, people creating and sustaining a business together—as partners or owners and managers—sometimes find their expectations, interests or actions in dispute. Mediation provides the informal and confidential venue for people to discuss and resolve their differences.
My own background includes extensive experience in the construction industry (both residential and commercial), starting in 1973. While my focus was primarily with metal—prefinished roofing and architectural facings as well as with structural steel, I was involved with almost all aspects of the construction process.
Dare I say that answering the phone for a roofing contractor on a rainy day is great on-the-job training for a mediator? And lest homeowners think I’ll always side with contractors...let me point out that I am a homeowner as well.
DISPUTE RESOLUTION in business or construction comes in a number of forms. There is, of course, mediation—the parties make the decisions themselves with the assistance of a mediator. Question: Do you want to have control over the decisions or do you want a stranger deciding things that will impact you?
Then there’s arbitration, in which the parties present information to the arbitrator, who then makes a decision based on the facts as viewed by someone with expertise. (In addition to the services that I am able to provide, I am affiliated with a group that provides a large array of services, according to the needs of the participants. Check out the website for Construction Dispute Resolution Services.)
PARTNERING is a process in which the people involved in a project (usually but not always in construction) come together prior to start of the project to determine the common goals, the individual responsibilities of the players and the communication paths which will facilitate problem-prevention during the course of the project. The Army Corps of Engineers, which really developed and refined the process, has found it to be very effective in reducing the costs (time and money) of disputes—leading to better finished projects that tend to come in on time and on budget. Read more in the Partnering Article indicated below, based on the experience of the US Army Corps of Engineers. Partnering can be a valuable tool to prevent disputes and keep a project on task and on time.
My own lengthy construction background leads me to see in Partnering a natural extension of the traditional—but underutilized—precon and weekly jobsite meetings; Partnering more explicitly builds on personal communication for problem-solving and conflict prevention.
My experience gives me the ability to communicate clearly with field workers and professionals alike. In addition to facilitation for developing a Partnering Charter, my professional services include ongoing mediation or consultation to support Charter goals during the project. My approach is to provide the highest quality assistance in ways that best serve all Partnering Team members-not forcing them into any one-size-fits-all model. I'd love to discuss this with you! Contact me for free consultation!
OTHER RESOURCES are available to assist business owners and contractors become more effective. Dispute resolution can resolve a certain range of issues.
For developing a business-whether a startup or an established but ineffective concern—I refer clients to the discovery and development process guided by longtime Santa Fe colleague Craig DeForest, Craig is Managing Director of the Podolny Group. Visit their website to learn more: www.podolny.com.
Please contact me for a Free Consultation!