Virtual Mediation: A Way To Resolve Construction Disputes Whose Time Has Come
The Coronavirus Pandemic has significantly hindered the ability to resolve construction claims using traditional methods of dispute resolution. Arising out of the growth of ZOOM and similar internet platforms, Virtual Mediation has gained significant traction as a cost-effective and expedient way to find common ground, even in the most contentious of disputes.
Hear from several industry practitioners on how, given court congestion, closures and backlog, virtual mediation has become the ADR method of choice to put a wide range of project disagreements to rest before they result in costly and protracted litigations. Based upon nearly 100 years of experience between them, these construction practitioners will debunk many of the myths of virtual mediation including: Inadequate Security, Confusing Technology, Ineffectiveness, Inconvenience and more. They will also share tips and answer questions on how to make the virtual mediation experience meaningful in order to put your dispute in the best settlement posture possible.
John Fieldsteel, Esq., Fieldsteel Dispute Resolution, LLC
John has been an active mediator, arbitrator and master for over 35 years and has served as a neutral in over 1500 cases. Most of those cases related to the design and construction process and involved projects ranging from $15,000 to $15,000,000,000, and cases involving from 2 to 34 parties. He graduated from Dartmouth College Cum Laude and from Boston University Law School. He is on the national panel of the American Arbitration Association for Arbitrators, Mediators and Large, Complex cases. For the past 15+ years, he has devoted 100% of his practice to service as a mediator and arbitrator.
Wally McDonough, Esq., ELK Consulting Services, LLC
Wally McDonough provides mediation and arbitration services in construction, insurance, real estate, labor/employment and general business disputes. Since 2007, he has mediated and arbitrated over 800 disputes from simple two party cases, to cases involving over fifteen parties, insurance carriers and sureties, involving tens of millions of dollars. Wally graduated from Princeton University cum laude in 1984 and from Boston College Law School cum laude in 1987. He served as Exec. VP/General Counsel for Suffolk Construction from 1996 to 2007.
Joseph A. Barra, Esq., Robinson + Cole LLP
Joe is a partner in the Boston office of the law firm of Robinson & Cole. He’s been practicing construction law for over 30 years and is licensed in Massachusetts, New York and Vermont. He represents owners, contractors, construction managers and design professionals in both transactional matters and disputes. He is an arbitrator on the Panel of Construction Neutrals with the American Arbitration Association and is a certified mediator. Prior to beginning his law career, Joe worked as an engineer in NY, having graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in 1983 with a degree in Civil Engineering.