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DISPUTE RESOLUTION BOARDS (DRBs) A panel of three experienced and impartial members convenes as a project begins and meets periodically at the jobsite throughout construction to encourage dispute resolution at the lowest level.

DRBs represent an exciting concept in dispute resolution, achieving great success in public highway construction with similar results in public building programs. More than 98% of disputes are resolved without engaging arbitration or litigation. Board members are provided contract documents and kept abreast of job developments, encouraging the resolution of all disputes between the parties.

FOR SUCCESSFUL DRBs:

·    Select Board members carefully Two members are selected by the owner and contractor respectively, who in turn select a third, all approved by the parties. It is important for the reliability of the Dispute Resolution Board that members are experienced, respected and impartial reviewers.

·    Meet regularly and discuss sensitive issuesIncluding the DRB as part of the construction team is critical to its success. Board members remain neutral for the duration of the project and meet on site periodically to review job progress.

·    Attempt early resolutionSolutions are best addressed directly between the parties, so the DRB encourages independent communication. It stands ready to conduct an informal review at the request of the parties, requiring limited documentation and lead time. A non-binding opinion is rendered that may be useful as independent perspective, and the parties maintain the right to request a formal hearing.

·    Conduct a thorough hearingParties share full documentation prior to a hearing, present their positions and answer questions from the Board. Legal participation is limited. The DRB considers all relevant testimony and issues a written, non-binding recommendation that is typically admissible in any subsequent arbitration or legal proceeding.

 

 

  ENHANCING THE POTENTIAL OF DRBs:

·    Broader dissemination and understanding of DRBsThe high success rate alone should guarantee wider usage, yet there are still a number of areas and project types where DRBs are unknown or little used. Greater education should allow access to this exceptional dispute method.

 

 

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