State Working on ADR Rules

Kegler Brown Construction Newsletter

"ADR" stands for Alternative Dispute Resolution - in essence any process designed to resolve disputes without further litigation - whether it be through partnering, mediation, arbitration or other means.

While many associated with the State, and in particular the Department of Administrative Services ("DAS"), have utilized ADR for years to resolve claims, there is a specific statutory mandate in O.R.C. §153.16 to adopt specific policies and procedures relative to ADR. There has been little progress in formalizing these policies in past years, however, the new administration is now beginning to focus on this mandate and to formulate draft guidelines on this subject. Those interested in having input on these written guidelines may want to contact the DAS Deputy Director of Public Works or his legal counsel.

Meanwhile, the Ohio School Facilities Commission ("OSFC") has embarked on an innovative ADR program including a heavy reliance upon partnering, early intervention, informal evaluation of claims by a third party consultant and mediation of disputes. OSFC is optimistic that this progressive approach will minimize disputes and litigation in the future, as the OSFC engages in an aggressive school building program.