SPECIFIC SERVICES

CLAIMS AND DISPUTE ANALYSIS

Design documents, construction and consulting contracts and related instruments of service, are complex in themselves. By adding to this, the additional difficulty of evaluating responsibility during the design and construction process, the complexity increases further.

ARCH RESOURCES, with its extensive experience in matters related to overall property development procedures, can provide support services to bring together all the components and arrive at a clear direction during disputes. This service does not take the place of an Attorney but rather, supports the Client in technical matters related to the field of design, development and construction. Evaluating the specific issues in a lawsuit, and giving clear direction as to the merit of particular claims, can be extremely important at the early stages. In longer cases, keeping up-to-date with all the evidence and its implications, and dealing with related research, is essential in the assessment of the Client's ongoing position. Services can be provided at any stage of the dispute or settlement process, and individual activities can include the following


MANAGEMENT OF DOCUMENTS

Disputes on large projects can result in the need to handle thousands of documents, including drawings, specifications, change orders, letters, sketches, etc., and the management of these documents can often be a major task in itself. Where imaging or compact disk storage of documents is required, the degree of specialized management becomes even more important. We have experience in dealing with this aspect of litigation on both large and small cases.


PRE-TRIAL ACTIVITIES

  • Analyze and organize contract documents and related materials for evidence.
  • Identify the individual claim items, and define the specific allegations in each case.
  • Establish from the documents and the history of events (chronologies), how the problems occurred and the individual merits of each claim.
  • Define the claim amounts and how they were calculated.
  • Assist the Attorneys in preparing for, and conducting depositions.
  • Analysis of the opposing side's position on each claim item and how the construction documents (drawings, specifications and contracts) support, or contradict, the position taken by each side.
  • Ongoing research into specific claim items, and review of transcripts, etc.
  • Assist in the preparation and answering of interrogatories.
  • Recommendations with regard to the use of technical experts.
  • Evaluation of opposing expert reports.
  • Preparation of graphic demonstratives for use at trial.


ASSISTANCE TOWARD SETTLEMENT

Due to the major costs involved in litigation, the Legal and Insurance profession, together with their clients, often look for the most equitable and effective method to dispose of claims. Based on investigations and analysis of the issues, ARCH RESOURCES can provide services such as:

  • Evaluation of the merits of individual claim items
  • Preparation and review of alternate settlement proposals
  • Assistance with factual support during the settlement negotiations.

TRIAL SUPPORT

The dynamics of a trial in progress brings about its own distinct requirements, in terms of teamwork and effectiveness under pressure. We bring real 'war room' experience in all aspects of trial, including the following:

  • Preparation and analysis of trial exhibits.
  • Evaluation and analysis of opposition evidence.
  • Detailed support for examination of witnesses on both sides.
  • Ongoing research as trial develops, related to specific matters arising.
  • Transcript review.
  • Assistance with preparation of witnesses.
  • Response to unexpected opposition evidence.
  • Identification of testimony for closing arguments.

AVOIDANCE OF DISPUTES AND CLAIMS

The services outlined in the previous sections relate to situations where disputes exist, or claims have already been made, and as a result, resolution is necessary. Perhaps, even more important is the avoidance of claims in the first place.

Because of our experience in the area of claims analysis, ARCH RESOURCES is uniquely qualified to identify areas of potential problems before a project is implemented. We have provided such services to several clients, whereby we examine contract documents (Drawings, Specifications and Agreements themselves) in advance and report on the areas which have the potential to cause misunderstandings, misrepresentation or vulnerability to one side of the agreement.

As a result, these conditions can be modified so that a more equitable arrangement is achieved which, in turn, lessens the possibility for dispute during the course of the work. Again, these services do not take the place of an Attorney in assessing the legal merits of contractual agreements, but they do provide a critical evaluation of the technical factors which are unique to the Design and Construction Industry and which are known historically to cause disputes. The cost of any service that helps in the avoidance of claims is extremely economical when compared to the potential litigation expenses after a claim has been made.

RESIDENTIAL INSPECTIONS AND ANALYSIS

Residential development, including both single family dwellings and multi-family unit projects, presents a unique segment of the construction claims arena because of their large number and specialized form of construction.

Mr. Cummins has provided inspection services on hundreds of residential units in the past few years alone. This involves visual inspections on all components of the home, destructive testing on specific components such as windows, stucco and roofing, resulting in comprehensive reports identifying construction defects and the estimated cost of repairs. Construction defects have included expansive soils, concrete slab and stem walls, stucco, drywall, wood framing, roofing, water intrusion and mold. Forensic analysis was conducted on these components to determine their cause, in order to define how they could be properly repaired.