Choosing the Right Mediator for a Complex Construction Dispute - Chapter 38 - AAA Handbook on Construction Arbitration and ADR - Third Edition
Joseph C. Malpasuto
Joseph C. Malpasuto is currently a Full-time Mediator and Arbitrator. He has been a construction attorney since 1975. He is also an arbitrator and mediator on the AAA’s roster of construction neutrals. In addition, he has served on mediation panels of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and the state of California. Mr. Malpasuto also spent 16 years in the construction materials manufacturing business.
In our private lives most of us would not use an internist to perform open-heart surgery, engage a general law practitioner to represent us in acomplex tax matter, or retain an architect to perform engineering calculations. Instead, we would seek a highly skilled professional with specific knowledge of our problem and the ability to remedy it, and then only after considerable thought and research.
Yet, when faced with having to choose a mediator for a complex construction dispute, many attorneys and their clients either don’t know (or underestimate) just how important it is for the mediator to have construction experience and knowledge of construction law. So they end up selecting a mediator based only on the candidate’s mediation, litigation or judicial experience. When the mediator is chosen without regard to construction experience and knowledge of the relevant law, the odds are that the mediation will fail to achieve the desired result. This chapter explains why selecting a construction lawyer with experience in construction can enhance the likelihood of having a more efficient and successful mediation.