Robert Christopher, Founder and CEO of Just Resolve, joins us for episode 286 of Art of Construction.
During his 36-year career in litigation practice, Rob came to recognize that the U.S. adversarial system of justice is shockingly inept at delivering real and efficient justice in common limited-stakes disputes (which make up the vast majority of civil lawsuits). Consequently, he innovated a solution to this problem called neutral-driven resolution ("NDR"), and founded Just Resolve as a neutral service to promote and deliver it to businesses, individuals and attorneys seeking a time-saving and cost-effective path to better net outcomes. In NDR, the parties settle their differences by agreeing not to a sum of money or specific result, but rather to cooperate in a fast and fair process led by one or more mutually agreed neutrals empowered to investigate and decide the matter.
The construction industry, particularly in the United States, certainly loves lawsuits. When things go sideways on a project, a legal blame-game often ensues that ends up putting more money in the hands of lawyers than either party. We don't believe this is a sustainable model as construction progresses, and so we're glad to spotlight Rob's new method of neutral-driven resolution. Rob hopes to start a revolution in the way legal disputes are handled, and the construction industry is ripe to utilize this new tool that leaves more time and money in the hands of contractors and affiliates, and less with lawyers and the courts.
Join Devon and Rob as they discuss common mistakes made when construction projects turn into legal disputes, the amount of time and money lost when going through the US court system, why Americans love suing each other, how NDR would work on a construction project, and why contractors and affiliates should consider speaking with their own attorneys to explore potential use of NDR in their project contracts.