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Successful Construction Arbitration: Forum Selection, Forensic Experts, Damages and Attorney's Fees

Consolidation and Joinder Rules Under State Law and FAA, Structuring Case Management, Discovery and Motion Waivers

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will provide construction counsel with guidance on the process of successfully navigating an arbitration of a dispute. The panel will explain how to structure arbitration provisions that reflect the selection of forum, arbitrators, and case management scope, including discovery and motion waivers. The panel will also address the intersection of local and state law with the Federal Arbitration Act and forum rules, the possibility of appeals and litigation intervention, and collecting attorney's fees and damages while limiting costs.


The construction industry uses several standard contracts and provisions--most predominantly the AIA. However, even in standard agreements, counsel can structure arbitration provisions to provide the stakeholders with assurance that their future claims will be handled properly.

Selecting an appropriate forum is central to drafting an arbitration provision in the event of a dispute and determining the rules for arbitration and the number and qualification of arbitrators. Sometimes circumstances change and an agreed-upon arbitration forum becomes unavailable. The courts disagree on how to proceed in this situation. Indeed, federal circuit decisions split over whether a court should appoint substitute arbitrators and enforce arbitration or excuse parties from their obligations to arbitrate when an agreed-upon arbitration forum is no longer available.

The parties can agree upon efficient arbitration procedures, or the arbitrator can determine them with the parties, often at the first case management meeting. It is more challenging to decide the appropriate level of process and resources to match the case's value and complexity, such as qualification and use of experts. A thoughtful arbitration process will integrate local rules and court intervention, including potential appeals.

Counsel needs to consider steps to take to ensure each arbitration's cost-effectiveness in structuring terms, avoiding bifurcation, adopting specific procedures, limiting written submissions, and reducing document production.

Listen as our authoritative panel provides practical guidance to construction counsel on achieving results in arbitration in a cost- and time-efficient manner. The panel will discuss the critical steps in construction arbitration and the factors that impact the cost and length of proceedings and share practical tips to assist in navigating the world of construction arbitration.



  1. Structuring arbitration provisions
    1. Forum
    2. Rules
    3. Arbitrators: number and qualifications
  2. Case managment
    1. Preliminary hearing
    2. Discovery
    3. Motion waivers
    4. Hearing process
  3. Local rules and FAA
  4. Appeals
  5. Court intervention
  6. Recovery of attorney's fees and damages and limiting costs


The panel will review these and other issues:

  • What should parties consider when structuring forum and rule provisions?
  • How do parties determine the number and qualifications of arbitrators?
  • What should parties discuss in the initial case management meetings?
  • How can parties handle appeals and issues with local rules during arbitration?
  • What should be included in the arbitration clause to manage costs and recover fees?


Dash, James
James M. Dash

Carlson Dash

Mr. Dash concentrates his practice in real estate-related litigation, with an emphasis on construction (including...  |  Read More

Safron, Jonathan
Jonathan S. Safron

Carlson Dash

Mr. Safron is a construction/mechanic’s lien litigation attorney at Carlson Dash.

 |  Read More

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