Under both federal and Louisiana law, construction disputes are commonly resolved in alternative dispute resolution procedures like arbitration. The Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) governs the federal arena, and the Louisiana Binding Arbitration Law (La. Rev. Stat. 9:4201, et seq.) governs the parallel state court ADR method.
Generally, if a dispute should be resolved in arbitration, then the contract at issue will require that. This is commonly known as the arbitration clause. Both Louisiana and federal jurisprudence favor arbitration and will uphold an arbitration clause except in limited circumstances.
Arbitration procedures can be more relaxed than litigation, but generally, the disputes are resolved by similar methods. Arbitration allows for discovery, sometimes with limits, and motion practice, unless the arbitration clause states differently. The parties in arbitration may also later agree to these limitations.
Historically, in construction contracts arbitration provisions have been the norm rather than the exceptions. As such, Shields | Mott attorneys are well-versed in the nuances of arbitration.