Closure Issues in Construction Mediation - Chapter 14 - AAA Handbook on Construction Arbitration and ADR - Third Edition
Howard D. Venzie, Jr. is a Principal of Venzie, Phillips & Warshawer, Philadelphia,
where his practice focuses on construction litigation and alternative dispute resolution. His
experience in construction litigation includes all types of contract claims and disputes
involving the construction of public and private projects. He is the former Co-Chair of the
Commercial Arbitration and Mediation Committee of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and
is a member of the American Bar Association’s Forum Committee on the Construction
Industry, the Construction Committee of the Litigation Section and the Committee on
Fidelity and Surety Law of the Section of Tort and Insurance Practice. He is a former
member of the AAA’s Board of Directors and the AAA’s National Construction Dispute
Resolution Committee. He is a member of the AAA commercial/construction panel of
arbitrators and the AAA’s Large Complex Case panel of arbitrators, the Construction
Arbitrator Master Panel, and the National Construction Arbitrator Training Faculty.
The importance of identifying and resolving all the closure issues is even more critical in construction mediation because of the many parties that are typically involved, the multiplicity of contractual obligations, and the technical complexity of the issues. Construction disputes often involve a mix of money, delay, performance and construction defect issues, each of which raise a series of closure issues.
Setting the stage to deal with the closure issues in an effective way begins much earlier than the eve of the parties’ “handshake deal.” It requires good preparation coming into the mediation, which means, among other things, knowing the facts, the issues in dispute, and the strengths and weaknesses of your case and that of the other parties.1 It is also essential for all the parties with a financial or other significant interest in the outcome to willingly participate in the mediation process.
This chapter will identify some of the key closure issues that parties should address when mediating construction disputes involving work