Arbitration & Mediation
In the construction industry and some other commercial areas, alternative dispute resolution is often preferred over litigation. Arbitration and mediation are the two key forms of alternative resolution, and we have decades of proven experience in both.
We have a proven track record in arbitration, a private hearing which results in a binding decision and award. Arbitration clauses are standard in most construction contracts, with the parties agreeing upfront to resolve any disagreements through an arbitrator. In fact, many contractual agreements require arbitration, per the American Arbitration Association guidelines; others require mediation. Clients can also agree to arbitrate after a conflict arises. The parties present their arguments to an arbitrator, who makes the decision after conducting a hearing and receiving testimony from witnesses.
Mediation involves negotiations between two parties and is facilitated by a mediator, who aids both in determining real interests, assessing each side’s strengths and weaknesses, and aiding in the resolution of a mutually agreeable settlement of the dispute. Unlike a judge or arbitrator, the mediator does not render a decision. Instead, in a mediation, both parties work toward a compromise, and in so doing, may come to a settlement that is acceptable to both.
There are several pros to mediation. It empowers both sides to control the outcome while eliminating the risk and uncertainty of a court decision. Because it is confidential, the meditator will not divulge any information disclosed by one party to the other unless consent is granted. Since there is no court involvement, this form of alternative dispute resolution is not bound by law, allowing for flexibility and creativity in resolving the conflict. Mediation is also a less expensive option that results in a quicker resolution. Because of these benefits, corporations often choose to go the informal route and retain a private mediator to facilitate negotiations.
We are knowledgeable and experienced in the appellate court process. We understand the importance of getting results on appeal. We have argued numerous cases before the Mississippi Supreme Court and are experienced at handling state and federal appeals, with proven results.
Government Contracts and Bid Protests
Our team is skilled in the process of bidding, which varies depending on whether the owner is a private or public entity. Most government contracts are awarded in accordance with public bidding.
Bid protests have become a necessity when working with government contracts. Whether competing for local, state, or federal contracts, a company will likely find itself involved in the bid protest process. That is true whether the terms or the awarding of a contract are being challenged. It also sometimes means advising a government agency in the defense of one of its own contract awards.
Private entities also sometimes use a bidding process to secure a favorable price and maintain some control over the quality of the awardee. Unlike in public bidding, private entities have few rules in choosing a contractor, though both make their decisions based on many of the same criteria. Regardless of your unique needs, we have the knowledge to aid you through the bidding process and the related legal issues.
Lien Protection and Avoidance
All contractors need payment protection, which is why lien laws are in place. Our firm’s attorneys helped to draft and enact the Mississippi Construction Lien statutes, and we regularly present seminars on the topic. Lien rights are the payment protection available to a contractor, subcontractor or supplier. Because of the complexity of lien laws, and the fact that they differ from state to state, parties should seek attorneys who have proven experience presenting and defending lien claims. We have extensive experience filing liens, as well as defending against lien claims.
Every construction contractor, subcontractor, supplier, architect, engineer, developer, and lender needs an experienced firm to protect its bottom line. As our portfolio demonstrates, we have decades of experience in construction law, which is why the industry represents a significant segment of our practice. In fact, construction law was one of our first areas of specialty. Because the industry encompasses so many legal issues, our clients don’t just call on us when they have an issue that needs resolving. We guide our clients through every stage of their construction projects and business, from inception to daily operations, and when disputes arise. We pride ourselves on being able to offer personalized, knowledgeable advice to each client in areas including contract drafting, risk assessment, negotiation, review, compliance, terminations and disputes, and claims involving lost productivity, delays, differing site conditions, defective design and defective construction, as well as ethics compliance, accidents, and environmental risks.
Although all businesses entail risk identification, that is perhaps most true of the construction industry, in part because of the nature of the industry, but also because every project is unique. Risk identification and the financial consequences of those risks contribute significantly to the fact that the construction industry is prone to disputes. That is why we work diligently with clients to identify risks with the goal of avoiding them by instituting our proven techniques.
We pride ourselves on being knowledgeable attorneys in all aspects of business law. Our attorneys have amassed significant experience working with clients across practically all business types and resolved a broad spectrum of commercial cases through litigation. Despite our boutique size, no case or client is too big for us to tackle. We recognize that each client brings unique needs to the table, and we personalize our representation with each in mind. Some of the common kinds of commercial issues we litigate are disputes involving partnerships, non-competition and employment agreements, property and lease agreements, fraud claims, interference with contracts and business anti-trust, breach of contract actions, civil trespass actions, property damage claims, and regulatory disputes.
Contracts and General Business
We put ourselves in our business clients’ shoes and work to guide them in ways to most effectively run their daily operations to ensure maximum protection, profit and personalization. For good reason, practically every construction or other commercial project has a legal contractual agreement of some form. Still, sometimes there is no solid contract, which can present serious legal ramifications for companies. We work with firms to create and negotiate solid contracts with their specific interests and business models in mind, ensuring their interests are protected.
Throughout history, no shortage of ideas has been stolen and misrepresented, leaving the originator with little to no rights. We perform the necessary searches, and prepare and register copyrights and trademarks. We work with clients to create strategies to identify and protect inventions, as well as defend their rights in those inventions. We represent clients in all areas of intellectual property law, including copyrights, privacy, licensing, trademarks, domain names, and protective agreements. We prosecute and defend copyright and trademark infringement claims throughout the Southeast.
We represent clients in the oil, gas and solar industries, energy companies, including power plant and utility. We represent owners, transporters, and producers. We handle oil and gas lease disputes.
Some of our clients hold contracts regarding resources located on wetlands or federal land, which can be seriously impacted by environmental legislation. We are experienced in navigating this complex terrain and negotiating outcomes in our clients’ best interests.
We have proven experience in presenting and defending surety bond claims. We understand that bonding is critical to construction project planning to minimize the risks of loss and provide protection from costly litigation. We guide clients in purchasing the appropriate bonds for each project, which ensures they are protected. In this realm, our guidance includes contract review, claims, claim evaluation, and payments.