5 Grist Mill Lane   |   Hingham, MA 02043 

Tel. 781.749.2990    |   Fax 480.287.9552

Overview of Services

Construction projects present a myriad of management challenges.  Foremost among these is handling construction disputes and claims in a cost effective manner, consistent with the terms of the contract documents.  Typically the largest source of cost growth in construction project budgets can be traced to owner directed changes and contractor claims for delays and extras.  Therefore, management focus on this area is important to meet the goals of timely completion, within the budget, in a safe manner, while delivering a quality product.


Constructive Dispute Resolutions’ (“CDR”) consulting practice primarily focuses on the avoidance, mitigation, and resolution of construction changes and claims.  CDR offers five types of services in this area:


1.  Claims Analysis and Resolution


This service covers traditional analysis, negotiation, and resolution of construction claims.  This typically includes issues such as entitlement analysis; schedule analysis; impact/inefficiency analysis; and cost analysis.  In order to provide the full array of claims analysis services, CDR has working relationships with the claims analysis firms of PMA Consultants LLC and Hill International, and the forensic auditing firm of FTI Consulting, Inc. to provide the technical experts that would be needed for this effort.  In addition, CDR works with several national engineering firms to the extent that expert advice is needed on forensic engineering and design issues.


Mr. Dettman’s  role in this area is to work closely with the client’s inside or outside legal counsel to coordinate and guide the work performed by technical experts to ensure that the client receives a quality work product consistent with legal counsel’s needs.  In addition, on complex or high dollar construction claims, CDR can provide a “second set of eyes” arbitration or litigation risk exposure analysis or additional technical support to support arbitration or litigation on an extension of staff basis.


2.  Dispute Systems Design


CDR’s advice in this area focuses on the review and provision of recommendations on claims and changes management and alternative dispute resolution processes tailored to the needs of particular construction programs or projects.  CDR has experience in alternative project delivery approaches, such as Design Build, CM at Risk, Integrated Project Delivery and Public Private Partnerships.  More specifically, this service can include:  (a) a review of current contract documents and provisions for appropriate allocation of risk, clearness and consistency of terms and conditions, and up to date standard provisions such as scheduling requirements, notice and claim provisions, pricing methodologies, etc.; (b) a review of current claims management processes, policies and procedures to promote “best practices” and uniformity across projects in the interpretation and application of the client’s contract documents; and (c) a review of current dispute resolution processes to ensure that they are tailored to the client’s needs and management priorities with the objective of closing out projects without litigation.


Mr. Dettman works with the client’s legal counsel in the review of contract documents and procedures to ensure that legal requirements are considered and implemented. This review can produce a series of recommendations that the client could adopt as it deemed appropriate.  Mr. Dettman also assists in implementing and auditing the recommendations adopted by the client, including training needed to ensure that all construction personnel are well versed in the client’s standard specifications and procedures.


3.  Third Party Neutral Services


CDR’s service in this area includes service as a third party neutral in disputes, claims, and litigation involving both construction and commercial issues.  Mr. Dettman serves as a trainer, facilitator, mediator, project neutral, arbitrator, and dispute review board member/ chairperson.  Mr. Dettman can provide independent neutral case evaluation for pending claims where the client is looking for outside review for purposes of negotiation or, if necessary, consideration of alternative dispute resolution options.  Mr. Dettman also can serve as a “coach” to teams that are involved in mediation or arbitration proceedings on how most effectively to use such processes.  Mr. Dettman also acts as a facilitator on public/stakeholder engagement processes.


Mr. Dettman has taken the training for qualification as a mediator based on the Harvard University mediation training program.  He also has extensive programmatic dispute resolution experience based on establishing setting up and leading the successful dispute review board and mediation programs on the CA/T Project.


Mr. Dettman is on the Construction Arbitration and Mediation Panels of the American Arbitration Association and the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution.  He is on the arbitrator panel of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority; the mediator/arbitrator/Dispute Review Board Panel of Construction Dispute Resolution Services LLC;  and the arbitrator panel of the American Dispute Resolution Center.  Mr. Dettman is also qualified by the Dispute Resolution Board Foundation to serve as a member and chairperson of Dispute Review Boards and is prequalified by several owner organizations to be considered for DRB services.  Mr. Dettman has spoken at many construction industry and legal conferences about the use of alternative dispute resolution, and he has conducted training programs in dispute resolution techniques and best practices.

4. Lean Design and Construction Coaching

Mr. Dettman serves as a coach for project teams on the use of Lean principles and tools, including Last Planner System, Target Value Design, and Big Room collaboration. He is also familiar with Integrated Project Delivery structuring and contracting, with a special expertise in insurance issues associated with IPD projects. Mr. Dettman performs Lean services through Strategic Enterprise Technology, Inc. (www.setechnology.com).

5.  Stakeholder Engagement Processes

Mr. Dettman's experience on megaprojects led him to the conclusion that conflict management, dispute avoidance, and dispute resolution systems needed to address all phases of the project life cycle:  planning, permitting, design, construction, commissioning and operations.  Thus, CDR offers services in designing and implementing stakeholder engagment processes that involve all project stakeholders and participants at all phases of the project. 
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