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.
LEXINGTON, Ky.—The American Bar Association (ABA) Forum on Construction Law has selected Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney Rebecca M.W. Sherman for its 2022 Diversity Fellowship. Sherman is one of six nationwide honorees to receive the three-year fellowship.
Time: 8:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Atlanta attorney Shannon Sprinkle will be a speaker at this Legal SHRM-Atlanta Legal Summit on May 12, 2022.
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Livestream or In-Person at State Bar of Georgia, Bar Center, 104 Marietta Street NW, Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta office attorney Shannon Sprinkle will be a presenter at this State Bar of Georgia Institute of Continuing Legal Education seminar on April 28, 2022.
Time: 12:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago, Illinois
Whitney Watt will be the Moderator for one of the sessions of this Corporate Counsel Training Academy in Chicago on April 6, 2022.
COVINGTON, Ky.—The American College of Construction Lawyers (ACCL) has elected Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney Bill Geisen to its Board of Governors. He will serve a three-year term.
LEXINGTON, Ky.—Stites & Harbison, PLLC welcomes attorney Drake W. Staples to the firm’s Lexington, Ky., office. He joins the Construction Service Group.
LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Governor Andy Beshear has appointed Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney T. Morgan Ward, Jr. to the Kentucky Personnel Board. Ward’s term will end in January 2026.
LEXINGTON, Ky.—Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney Greg Parsons will be inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Construction Lawyers (ACCL) on February 26, 2022, at the Annual Meeting in Laguna Beach, Calif. ACCL, one of the nation’s leading legal associations, only designates the top 1% of the construction bar in the U.S. with this honor.
NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Stites & Harbison, PLLC welcomes attorney J. Ross Hutchison to the firm’s Nashville, Tenn., office. He joins the Construction Service Group as a Member (Partner).
Galt House Hotel & Suites, 140 North Fourth Street, Louisville, KY 40202
Stites & Harbison is a sponsor and Louisville office attorney Matt Breetz will be a presenter at the KAHCF Annual Meeting and Expo in Louisville November 9-11, 2021.
LEXINGTON, Ky.—The Fayette County Bar Association has recognized Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney Rebecca M.W. Sherman with its Outstanding Young Lawyer Award for 2021.
JW Marriott Nashville, 201 8th Avenue South, Nashville, Tennessee 37203
Louisville office attorney Matt Breetz will be moderating a panel discussion on Case Law Updates on September 23rd in Nashville TN at this conference.
Boston Park Plaza, 50 Park Plaza at Arlington Street, Boston, MA 02116-39014
Louisville office attorney Whitney Watt will be a member of the panel for a presentation at this ABA Conference in Boston, Mass., November 17-19, 2021.
NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Chambers USA High Net Worth selected Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney Gregory D. Smith for inclusion in its 2021 guide in the category of Family/Matrimonial for USA: Tennessee. Chambers High Net Worth ranks top lawyers and law firms in the international private wealth market.