Construction Law

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Private Judging For Disputes

Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) techniques can be very effective alternatives to the costly and time consuming litigation process. In this article we will be discussing the technique of private judging, explaining what it is and how it can be used in the construction industry.

What is Private Judging?

Private judging typically involves disputing parties bringing in a retired judge to oversee their case. Similar to arbitration, private judging can only be done with the consent of both parties, and in most cases the parties will agree that the private judge’s decision will be legally binding. A private judge will usually be given the same powers of a court, and for the most part the hearing will resemble a typical courtroom proceeding. The main advantage of private judging over the litigation route is that the process is much shorter and more efficient.

What Makes Private Judging Stand Out From Other ADR Techniques?

There are a few distinguishing characteristics that makes private judging stand out from the other ADR techniques available.

1. A private judge has the authority to manage a legal dispute, only if the parties have mutually agreed to this form of ADR. The parties must be able to mutually agree on private judging, whether they have it written in their contract before hand, or decide to take that step when dealing with a dispute. The parties also have the option to mutually select the private judge. For help adding a private judging clause to a contract, it’s recommended you seek the counsel of an Orlando construction attorney.

2. While the decision from the private judge is legally binding for the parties, they will have the opportunity to appeal a private judgement much like a traditional court judgement.

What Does a Private Judge Do?

A private judge can serve as either a temporary judge or a referee between the disputing parties.To become a temporary judge, one must be a licensed attorney with their State’s Bar. The parties involved with the legal dispute can only appoint a temporary judge after a lawsuit has been filed, and they must have a written agreement. The judge that is selected to preside over the lawsuit is required to approve the agreement and the private judge the parties have appointed to the legal dispute. On the other hand, a referee is not required to be a licensed attorney. A referee can be appointed before a lawsuit is filed and the parties have the power to delegate the referee’s authority in an agreement. If the parties choose a referee, they must keep in mind that the referee only has twenty days to make a decision on the matter.

To schedule a consultation with one of our experienced Orlando construction attorneys, please call us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.