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Resolving Business Disputes Through Mediation
Business disputes are an unfortunate but inevitable reality.
The question is, when a business dispute arises, what is the best way to proceed? When handled poorly, business disputes can destroy reputations as well as companies. Some business disputes are always going to end up in a courtroom. However, in some cases, mediation is a more effective strategy. Many people associate mediation with interpersonal conflict, but it also has many benefits for small business.
Mediation is generally a faster, less costly, and more private way to resolve business disputes than litigation
Since mediation is not subject to the scheduling constraints of the court, it is typically a faster process. It involves less attorney hours and less of your time, saving money. It is less public than litigation, and keeps the disputing parties in full control of the outcome, rather than putting it in the hands of a judge.
What is the mediation process like?
In most cases, the disputing parties, their lawyers, and a neutral mediator will meet together. Mediators are skilled at facilitating a constructive environment, where both parties can focus on achieving a mutually beneficial outcome to the dispute, rather than on their personal differences.
The mediator may also meet, confidentially, with each party. This can help them get a clear idea of what exactly each party is looking to get out of the mediation, and assist in finding solutions that will work for everyone involved.
There is always the possibility that the mediation could collapse, and that the dispute would end up in court. However, according to the American Arbitration Association (AAA), mediation ends in a settlement approximately 85% of the time.