Business disputes can arise in a variety of ways. Sometimes an employer has a dispute with an employee regarding a grievance. Sometimes a company has a dispute with a supplier regarding a contract. The possibilities for business disputes are almost endless.
What companies generally do not want when business disputes arise is for the matter to go to trial. Litigation takes a lot of company time and resources that could be better funneled into business operations and growth.
One alternative to litigation that companies facing a business dispute may take advantage of is mediation.
What is mediation?
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. In mediation, each party will work together to reach a settlement without resorting to litigation.
The mediation sessions are overseen by a mediator. The mediator is a neutral party, so they do not take sides.
Instead, a mediator helps the parties have constructive conversations where their opinions and desired outcomes are expressed. This open communication in a non-adversarial setting allows the parties to give and take until a compromise is reached.
Mediation offers many advantages over litigation
Mediation can save a business money. This is because it generally takes less time than litigation and does not require the discovery of evidence, the taking of depositions, court filings and other costs associated with litigation.
Moreover, there is no losing in mediation. While a business may agree to compensate the other party for certain losses, the business has control over this aspect of the settlement. In litigation, a business could come out on the losing side and owe a great deal in compensation to the other party.
Mediation can also preserve good business relationships. When the parties work together instead of against each other, it is likely they will both be willing to continue doing business with one another.
Moreover, what goes on in mediation stays private. In comparison, a publicized trial can paint a business in a negative light which could impact their standing in their community.
In the end, mediation offers many benefits that litigation does not. This makes it a dispute resolution process worth considering when commercial disputes arise.