In the world of business, facing disputes is almost inevitable at some point in time. Disputes can arise due to a whole host of reasons, including employee relations, partnerships with other businesses and contracts with
vendors. As a result, if you own a business, it’s best to understand your options for handling such disputes before they come about. You may think that litigation is the first course of action, but there are actually a number of other options to consider, including:
Instead of jumping straight to litigation, you might try to negotiate with the other party. Depending on your skills as a negotiator, you may be able to handle this process on your own; however, if you are not a strong negotiator, it would be best to involve someone who is up to the task. As with any negotiation, the goal is to bring about the best outcome for all parties involved. Essentially, you will need to be willing to give into some of the demands from the other party, but you will also benefit from having some of your own demands met in return. If negotiation fails, you might consider mediation.
Mediation is basically negotiating with the assistance of an independent third party. The mediator acts as the person who can help the disputing parties to find common ground and bring about a fair resolution. Unlike a judge in a business litigation case, the mediator does not have control over the outcome. Instead, he or she guides the parties in bringing about a fair result without taking the case to court. If mediation fails or is not a viable option, you may then want to consider arbitration.
In arbitration, both parties in the dispute present their facts as if in a courtroom, and an arbiter makes the final decision as to the resolution of the dispute. Each party agrees to be legally bound by the arbiter’s decision, and the arbiter is typically going to be someone with a legal background. The process is more formal than mediation or negotiation. If arbitration fails, the next step, and often last resort, is litigation.
Litigation occurs when parties seek to have their grievances addressed in court. In other words, it’s where one party sues the other. While this is often recommended as a last resort due to the time, energy and resources it requires, it can be very beneficial when you have a qualified, competent law firm on your side. It’s also worth noting that, in some states, you may be required to attempt mediation or arbitration before you are allowed to bring your case before a judge.
To find out what your state requires to bring your case to court, contact a qualified law firm like McCorvey Law & Mediation before taking any further action. By seeking out an attorney who specializes in business disputes first, you will often have the best chance of obtaining the most favorable outcome.