Adrian Reese, a resident of New York, owned a strip mall located in Ohio, which he leased out to different businesses. The tenants in the building had complained that the two public restrooms were substandard and in need of repair. Reese therefore contracted with Lyle Copeland, a licensed contractor in Ohio, to remodel and bathrooms and fix the outdated plumbing. Copeland began the work on the date promised but progressed very slowly. Then, while ripping out the existing pipes, Copeland accidentally broke the main pipe, which caused flooding and water damage to the building. Several of the tenants immediately vacated the property after the incident. Reese claimed that Copeland was legally responsible for $300,000 in property damage because his action were reckless and incompetent. Copeland maintained that it was an accident and refused to pay for the damage. Using the information presented in the chapter, answer the following questions.
- What types of assisted negotiation might the parties used to settle this dispute?
- Does the fact that the parties reside in different jurisdictions have any effect on whether they might try mediation or negotiation? Why or why not?
- Why would the pries wish to use some method of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) rather than filing a traditional lawsuit?
- Suppose that one of the parties rejects any attempt at using ADR and instead files a lawsuit in a federal district court. That court happens to require that this dispute be arbitrated prior to any trial on the matter. Explain whether this arbitration is likely to be legally binding on the parties.
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