I know, you are likely surprised by the title of this post. You’ve read Construction Law Musings for a while now and know that as a Virginia Supreme Court certified mediator, I have advocated mediation as a great way to resolve your construction disputes short of the expensive and time consuming litigation process. Knowing all of this, you as a reader of this blog (thanks by the way) probably wonder why I think that a mandatory mediation clause may not be the best thing for your construction contracts. I can understand your possible confusion (particularly in light of this post from @sethsmiley).
Please don’t take the headline as my suddenly taking a new view of mediation. Short of simply resolving the dispute between the parties to the construction contract, mediation still remains number one on my list of construction dispute resolution mechanisms. I still believe that it is useful even when a resolution is not met after a good faith attempt by both sides to come to a business agreement. However, I also believe that mediation works best when entered into voluntarily by the parties.