When you own or manage a business, you want to try to avoid disputes as much as possible. However, disagreements can happen even if you are careful. When a dispute occurs, you need to know the best way to defuse and resolve the situation while you protect your business interests. Negotiation is always a good first step, but sometimes the parties still cannot come to a resolution. When parties cannot come to an agreement on their own, they may need assistance from an attorney or other professional. There are several options when it comes to resolving disputes in business including litigation, mediation, and arbitration.
Litigation generally refers to resolving a dispute through the court system. This resolution may be necessary when the parties are not able to come to a resolution that is agreeable to both. The contract itself may indicate the court where the resolution should be handled. The cost of the claim will also play a role in the jurisdiction where litigation needs to take place. Litigation may be the best option when you do not necessarily need to resolve the claim quickly, because some court matters can take time. It is also essential to weigh the amount of the claim with the expenditure that you will incur as a result of lengthy legal needs.
Arbitration is settlement through a third party. Both parties must agree to arbitration. The contract may contain details of arbitration including how it will take place and the arbitrator that will handle the matter. If a contract includes an arbitration agreement, it is best to have an experienced attorney review the document before you agree to the terms of the contract. Once you sign a contract, you will be bound to its terms, barring any unusual circumstances. Therefore, arbitration may be necessary when you have already agreed in a contract.
Mediation is the resolution of a dispute with help from a professional mediator. The mediator is a disinterested third party with experience handling dispute resolution. Typically, the mediator meets with the parties to facilitate discussion over the issues of dispute to try to find a compromise. The result may be a settlement that both parties can agree with. Sometimes the court will order mediation to try to resolve the matter in a fair manner. Mediation can streamline the resolution process, although both parties will likely need to make some compromises to obtain a satisfactory result.
There is no one right answer for how to handle business disputes. An experienced business attorney understands complicated issues and may be able to help resolve problems more quickly and efficiently. Contracts cases can be extremely complex and you want to resolve the issue in a manner that is favorable, while also maintaining a business relationship with the other party, in some cases. At Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd., we have years of litigation experience working with all types of business contract disputes. Contact our legal team to learn how we can help you obtain a favorable result in your dispute.