John D. Onnembo, Jr., Esq., founder of JDO Solutions, has more than 26 years of experience as an attorney in the construction industry - including more than 16 years as counsel to two of the nation's largest commercial building contractors. Over that time, John has been personally involved in all types of construction disputes, from simple subcontractor liens to complex multi-party lawsuits involving tens of millions of dollars. Regardless of the size of the dispute, however, one thing has remained constant - tremendous litigation costs relative to the amount in controversy.
A good "rule of thumb"is that, in a dispute arising out of a construction project, from the time that a lawsuit or arbitration proceeding is commenced through the completion of a trial or arbitration hearing, each party to the dispute will spend between 20 and 30 percent of the total amount in dispute on legal fees, expert witness fees and other associated costs. In other words, if a contractor has a $10 million claim against an owner and the owner has a $10 million counterclaim, they can each expect to spend $4 to $6 million to resolve the case. This does not take into account the internal costs and lost productivity of employees who end up spending several years being heavily involved in the dispute resolution process. It is clear that taking a construction case to trial or to an arbitration hearing is cost prohibitive.
In an ideal world, parties would always be able to resolve their disputes through face to face negotiations without the involvement of a third party. In reality, that is often not possible as the parties become emotionally invested in their arguments and entrenched in their positions. Given the economic pressures of today's challenging economy, the desire for cost-effective resolution is stronger than ever. It is with this in mind that John founded JDO Solutions with a single goal - to provide the construction industry with the means to achieve the most efficient and expeditious solutions to construction project disputes.