January 16

How to control disputes and the big expenses that may show up at the end of your project.

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How to control disputes and the big expenses that may show up at the end of your project.

Controlling Disputes and the Hidden and Often Huge Cost of Discovery in Litigation.

Here's another way another way DigiBuild saves time and money 
and creates trust!

Consider these scenarios:

  • The project is almost over and you haven’t gotten paid your last two requisitions. 
  • The subcontractor bailed on you and you had to bring in another one at time and materials.
  • The equipment that was furnished and installed is faulty and must be replaced.

...or...

  • You are being sued for “Inferior” work.
  • You are being sued for causing delays to the schedule.
  • You are being hit with back-charges you know nothing about.

Whether you are an owner, contractor, sub or consultant, there are so many things that can force you into litigation, usually at the end of the job.  

You have an outside attorney you have used on rare occasions.  You know they charge $400, 500, 750 or more per hour.  You call them in without any clue whatsoever about what this will set you back, because know you have to sue or defend yourself, and you are concerned.

You are right to be concerned.  

Your matter may just need a fast track arbitration and a one day hearing.  Count yourself lucky because most cases involve tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars, and sometimes more, in legal fees to properly advocate for your side.  Your lawyer is going to conduct extensive discovery and engage experts, etc.  You know the lawyer will be at the hearings and you know about the experts and  there are briefs.

You can evaluate these most of these costs.

What is the outlier?

Discovery.

You can’t control discovery because how much gets done is determined by both sides.  

People think discovery is about taking few depositions and looking at each other’s documents. What it really involves is going into the files of virtually every person on your side who was ever associated with the project and reading every one of these documents, looking for damaging information and hoping it’s privileged and then copying the documents and delivering them to the other side. 

Then you get the other side’s documents and read them looking for smoking guns and anything that can help or hurt your case.  The lawyer(s) assigned to the case come across copies of the same letter, or plan or documents in 10 different files.

But it all has to be vetted and produced.  

You know you have produced the same documents many times over, too.  Every piece of paper, every email needs to be looked at with human eyes.  As for email, each party has to search their files for keywords the lawyer from the other side provided, and that can be 100 search terms, and turn over the electronic documents.  

Again, human eyes have to review and often to compare documents that are duplicated many times.  On a major case, there can be a million documents.  The paper alone is impossible to handle. The length of time this takes can influence the outcome of your case and your ability to even remain in the case can be at risk.  

Discovery is where a major part of the litigation money is spent, and DigiBuild can eliminate 50% or 75% or even more of it.   DigiBuild can also nip a claim in the bud because it eliminates the ability to argue against the fact of when and how an event that gave rise to a dispute and who and when they were aware of it. 

With DigiBuild, every transaction including contracts, change orders, requests for information, plan issue, meeting minutes, communications, pay applications, insurance certificates, inspection reports, lien waivers etc. are recorded on an immutable timeline that can be easily searched.  

This eliminates the need for much discovery and creates an automatic joint exhibit book that encompasses most of the documents on the project.

There can be no question of what the correct contract is, when a plan was issued, when RFIs were answered, who got copies of what and when, etc.  Because this eliminates the opportunity for disputes in many circumstances, not only is there a savings in the cost of discovery, but also in the cost of resolving claims as many claims will be avoided.  

There can be no question of when an event occurred, who was made aware of a problem and when, whether the proper procedures were followed, when a plan was issued, when an RFI was answered, etc.  

No more, you never told me, or you never sent me that, or the plans were changed after the work was done, etc.  The guaranteed truth timeline is an invaluable resource throughout the project but it becomes essential at the project’s end.

Again, that is just way another way DigiBuild saves time and money and creates trust!

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