Industry Priorities

Arbitration serves the construction industry well because arbitration panelists, who preside over binding decisions in arbitration, possess familiarity and subject matter expertise in construction. Construction cases often hinge on technical and complex matters. Also, arbitration generally offers faster and less costly resolution than litigation. In recent decades, arbitration has been critiqued for becoming more resource-intensive, involving extensive discovery. Some have coined this “arbilitigation.” There are ways for parties to act as decision-makers to streamline the process. ConsensusDocs is offering a July 18th live webinar entitled “Unlocking the Advantages of Arbitration Over Litigation,” which you can register for here. The webinar will outline ways to use arbitration most efficiently.

The AGC's Contract Documents Forum's first ever Townhall, which is free to all AGC members and chapters, will take place at noon EST on June 4th. The townhall will include a presentation overview of the ConsensusDocs and American Institute of Architects (AIA) Contract Documents, as well as an open discussion on the topic. We will also share an interesting construction case law development and hear about volunteer opportunities and projects from the AGC Construction Law and Operations Committee.

Updates to the American Arbitration Association's (AAA®) Construction Industry Arbitration Rules and Mediation Procedures streamline processes and embrace technological advances in resolving construction disputes. Construction has a long history of embracing arbitration. ConsensusDocs standard contract documents default to the current AAA rules and administration when arbitration is chosen. Learn more about how you can maximize the advantages of alternative dispute resolution processes by attending this ConsensensusDocs three-part webinar series on Alternative Dispute Resolution that covers Mediation, Arbitration, and Dispute Review Boards.

Construction, an early adopter of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedures, has a long-standing success story of utilizing ADR processes instead of costly and time-consuming litigation. ConsensusDocs is offering three separate but related webinars, each led by industry experts, to delve specifically into mediation, arbitration, and dispute review boards (DRBs). By attending these webinars, construction practitioners, as parties to disputes, can make informed decisions to utilize ADR for maximum time and cost savings. Additionally, the ADR webinars will provide insights from experienced mediators, arbitrators, and DRB members on dispute resolution. Importantly, you'll also gain insights on how to potentially bridge the gap and communicate effectively with opposing parties to resolve disputes.

The 2024 Construction Super Conference (CSC) will occur at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas from December 9 – 11, 2024, and offer continuing legal education. This year’s Call for Presentations is now open through Friday, June 7, 2024. Find the Call for Presentations here. All educational content will be selected from submissions through this Call for Presentations. The Construction Super Conference Board of Advisors will review and select the most qualified submissions for the 2024 event. AGC is a proud sponsor of the Construction Super Conference and an AGC representative sits on the advisory Board.

The AGC Contracts & Construction Law page recently added significant new content. Among these updates is a new dispute resolution and mitigation subpage featuring a recent paper by Christoper Brasco of Watt, Tieder LLP entitled Mediation Uncompromised. The paper emphasizes the importance of selecting the right mediator and understanding negotiation paradigms and styles. This article summarizes the mediation best practices outlined in the paper.

There are four main project delivery methods in construction: design-bid-build, design-build, construction management at-risk (CM@R), and integrated project delivery (IPD). ConsensusDocs is providing an April 4th Webinar on Construction Project Delivery Meth0ds 101 that will explain how the contracts you sign ultimately determine project delivery methodology. Register here. Choosing the right project delivery method for your project is a fundamental decision for success. All registrants will receive a recording of the webinar.

AGC Smartbrief recently wrote a story addressing project delivery methods that featured the ConsensusDocs’ design-build and construction management at-risk standard contracts with the following:

The 2024 AGC/FMI Study highlights key risks in the construction industry. Based on responses from AGC's in-house risk managers workgroup (collected Dec. 2023 – Jan. 2024), the top concerns include labor shortages, design issues, changes in insurance terms and costs, project delays or cancellations, and changes in contract language. However, one of the most alarming trends highlighted by the study is the uptick in subcontractor defaults. Seventy percent of respondents are seeing an increase in subcontractor defaults compared to one year ago, with nearly half reporting firsthand experience of project disruptions due to subcontractor defaults. Root causes behind subcontractor distress include financial instability, lack of skilled labor, and quality issues -- especially affecting electrical, plumbing, and concrete trades. In response, construction risk managers are enhancing subcontractor prequalification measures, including more thorough financial and staffing evaluations, seeking out new subcontractors, and increasing review frequency.

Change can be difficult. Newly added guidance available from the AGC Contract Documents Forum helps members navigate change in design-build construction contracts and beyond.