All too often, business owners turn to the traditional litigation model to settle disputes that arise, whether it involves partners, employees, vendors or other businesses. However, as most people know, litigation can be very expensive and it can take a long time to finally reach a settlement.
On the other hand, alternative dispute resolution processes are available to businesses today in order to settle disputes in a more efficient and effective manner. Mediation involves meeting with a third-party neutral mediator who facilitates negotiations and makes suggestions for creative solutions.
Mediation can benefit businesses in many ways, including:
1. Saving the business money. Generally speaking, it is much less expensive to settle a business dispute by using mediation than the traditional litigation model, which involves expensive court costs and attorneys’ fees.
2. Keeping the business owners in control of the outcome. With mediation, the parties stay in control of the resolution instead of placing the decision-making power in a judge who knows little about the situation.
3. Protecting a business’ reputation. Because mediation is conducted outside of the court process, the negotiations and settlements reached are almost always kept confidential and off of the public record.
4. Protecting business relationships. If the parties need to continue working together in the future, mediation can encourage a collaborative relationship instead of a combative one, which often results from litigation.
5. Reaching a resolution that lasts. Agreements reached in mediation are often more sustainable than court orders because the parties both agree, instead of just one party getting what they want.
Finally, mediation is nothing to be afraid of because it is usually possible to pursue litigation if the mediation process doesn’t work. Ultimately, mediation can be a great place to start for most business-related disputes.
Talk to a business attorney who offers mediation services for more information.