Arbitration, Mediation & Alternative Dispute Resolution
Stites & Harbison has a wealth of ADR experience conducting ADR sessions as either mediators or arbitrators, and in advocating on behalf of clients in the ADR setting. The firm's attorneys mediate and arbitrate all types of disputes. Ten of our firm's attorneys completed training or certification in mediation, and eight completed training or certification in arbitration. The New York City-based CPR International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution has named three Stites & Harbison attorneys to its Panel of Neutrals. In addition, many others have received training in ADR by the American Arbitration Association, the Atlanta Justice Center, or the Mediation Center of Kentucky and regularly serve as arbitrators and mediators.
As advocates, we understand that the majority of litigation results in a negotiated settlement. We are experienced and well-equipped to achieve the best settlement results possible for our clients. We have settled hundreds of millions of dollars in claims by alternative dispute resolution. In one recent case, Stites & Harbison helped achieve a mediated settlement of $12 million in favor of the firm's client.
In our experience, mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution often succeed in terminating litigation on terms acceptable to both parties. Mediation or ADR forces a plaintiff to realistically assess a case and come face-to-face with its weaknesses. Otherwise, this might not happen until the eve of trial.
In cases involving complex engineering or scientific principles, we have sometimes used a “non-lawyer neutral” in direct interface with experts retained by the adverse parties. Sometimes we do this without lawyers present; sometimes we have lawyers present, but only for the purpose of observing to ensure the fairness of the process. We have noted how much time can be saved and how many technical issues can be resolved in this manner. Mediations or arbitrations are substantially shortened, and the issues narrowed more quickly.
Examples of complex cases we successfully resolved by ADR include:
- A construction mold case involving $25 million in damage to a hotel in Charleston, S.C. Large amounts of water infiltrated the building within a year of its completion. Essentially, the entire building from the concrete structure out had to be torn down and rebuilt. Engineering issues concerned whether this was a result of construction errors in the masonry system, or design errors by the HVAC engineer inducing negative pressures and exacerbated by the humidity of the South Carolina summer. Ground-breaking scientific approaches to proof were developed in this case.
- A $40 million case involving the chemistry of flu gases generated in a coal-burning power plant, and the metallurgy of a very rarely-used grade of stainless steel that was specified for construction of a scrubber tower. We represented an international engineering and construction company that was the world's leading builder of power plants. On the other side was the last U.S. manufacturer of boilers used in power plants. Each of these companies needed the other in order to maintain its market going forward. The ADR, which followed months of aggressive litigation, was structured totally around future business arrangements between the parties.
Caroline Augenstein Joins Stites & Harbison in Lexington
LEXINGTON, Ky.—Stites & Harbison, PLLC welcomes attorney Caroline A. Augenstein to the firm’s Lexington, Ky., office. She joins the Construction Service Group.
Lewis Perling Elected to Friends of Disabled Adults and Children Board
ATLANTA—Friends of Disabled Adults and Children (FODAC) has elected Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney Lewis Perling to its of Board of Directors. He will serve a three-year term.
Stites & Harbison Welcomes Elizabeth A. Garrett to the Nashville Office
NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Stites & Harbison, PLLC welcomes attorney Elizabeth A. Garrett to the Nashville, Tenn., office. She joins the firm as a Member (Partner) in the Family Law Practice.
Construction Law Institute 2022
Time: 7:45 a.m. - 4:05 p.m.
Embassy Suites, 1801 Newtown Pike, Lexington, Kentucky
Construction attorney Bill Geisen is the Planning Committee Chair and Steven Henderson is a speaker at the 2022 Construction Law Institute to be held October 20, 2022 in Lexington, Kentucky.
Greg Smith Earns 2022 Best of the Bar Honor
NASHVILLE, Tenn.—The Nashville Business Journal recently honored Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney Greg Smith with the 2022 Best of the Bar award in the areas of executive and family law. He has earned the Best of the Bar award eight times.
Driving Diversity in Law & Leadership Summit: Atlanta
Time: 8:50 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Atlanta, GA (Venue TBA)
Atlanta office attorneys Shannon Sprinkle and Jennifer Guerra will be speakers at this event held in Atlanta on September 14, 2022
Tennessee Bar Association Appoints Ross Hutchison to Construction Section’s Executive Committee
NASHVILLE, Tenn.—The Tennessee Bar Association’s (TBA’s) Construction Law Section recently appointed Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney J. Ross Hutchison to its Executive Committee.