background

Marvin Laws began his legal career with the firm Hayes Magrini & Gatewood in Oklahoma City in 1999, where he worked until the latter part of 2016, the last several years as a partner. While at the firm, he worked on numerous cases, primarily construction and design litigation, bond and lien claims, and related work. During the bidding phase, while work is in progress or after construction is complete, Marvin has assisted clients in resolving construction disputes of all kinds.

In 2017, Marvin started his current practice, a mediation and arbitration practice with an emphasis on construction and deisgn disputes -- the only ADR firm of its kind in Oklahoma. Since then, Marvin has mediated or arbitrated more than 100 cases of all types and sizes, for attorneys, parties and/or disputes located in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and Colorado. 

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Mediation Philosophy

I believe in the key tenets of mediation, one of the most important of which is that the parties should be free to make their own decisions and control their own destiny based on the best information available. See, e.g., Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators, Standard I. While my mediation style is neither aggressive nor coercive, I am nevertheless direct … but only with the objective of having a full, frank, and honest conversation. To that end, I have found that to be effective as a mediator of construction and design disputes, a more evaluative approach tends to better facilitate the desired outcome – settlement of the controversy.

 

Issues which are distractions or otherwise not helpful to resolving the substantive issues often interfere with the process. These issues can be minimized, if not eliminated, when addressed early through an evaluative process. To best implement my approach, it is necessary to become immersed in the parties’ submissions as early as possible so that honest (evaluative) discussions can be conducted with counsel prior to mediation. Ideally, the majority of time spent at mediation is spent on substantive issues, with an eye toward resolution at all times.

mediation

Having mediated, litigated or arbitrated hundreds of cases over the years, one thing is clear -- the vast majority of cases settle before they are actually tried to a judge, jury or arbitrator.  Marvin possesses the knowledge and experience to help the parties better understand each other and their own cases. With this in mind, the goal is to resolve disputes quickly and economically ... before the parties spend too much time on litigation or arbitration.

 

As mediator, Marvin has assisted numerous parties and their counsel resolve all kinds of construction disputes, including:

  • Contract Disputes -- Owner / Prime  Contractor / Subcontractor / Designer

  • Commercial Projects -- Assisted living centers, apartments, condominiums, hospitals, office complexes, historical preservation projects, and many others 

  • Residential Projects - single family new construction and remodels

  • Public Projects -- Local and state projects including highway construction, utilities, schools, and universities

  • Construction Defects -- Commercial, Residential, Industrial

  • Design Defects 

  • Landowner Disputes

  • Multi-Party Litigation (4 - 15+ parties)

  • Pre-Suit / Pre-Arbitration Mediation

  • Mechanic's Liens & Bond Claims - State and Federal

  • Negligence / Property Damage

 

arbitration

Unfortunately, sometimes disputes cannot be resolved amicably. However, when cases don't settle, the parties can many times minimize the costs of dispute resolution by arbitrating their cases, rather than litigating in court.

  • Avoid lengthy and costly discovery process

  • Limited pre-hearing motion practice

  • Hearings can be scheduled at the convenience of the parties

Hiring an arbitrator with an understanding of the construction industry also cuts down on the time necessary to explain rudimentary construction terms and concepts. The time saved can be better spent developing your case and resolving it. Marvin has served as an arbitrator in several cases of all types and complexities.