We hope you like your lawyer, but we’re also pretty sure you didn’t go into business in the hope you could spend your time fighting out a lawsuit. But disagreements happen. Unforeseen problems pop up, or contract terms might mean different things to different people, or maybe somebody just thinks they can get away with something that could hurt your business.. When that happens, before resigning yourself to a drawn-out court battle, you should consider the benefits of alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation. Let’s take a look at a few advantages of choosing mediation to resolve your business dispute so that you can get back to what you do best—running your business.
1. Mediation Gives You Control Over Your Fate
When a business dispute goes to court, a judge or jury controls the ultimate outcome. It may feel like you don’t have much control of the legal process — because, really, you don’t — and this can feel restrictive and frustrating. Mediation gives the parties back that control. With the help of a mediator, parties have the opportunity to think through their disagreement, what their underlying interests are, and figure out if they can craft a solution that serves those interests better than a verdict might. Judges and juries have limited options, imposed by rules of law. Mediation leaves you room for greater creativity, and a mediator can often help the parties find an agreement that leaves them both feeling more in control and more satisfied with both the process and the outcome.
2. Solve Your Problem Faster
Litigation takes time — usually at least a year. But mediation is flexible and frees the parties from court schedules. You can schedule it at a time that works for everyone involved. The mediation sessions rarely last more than a day, and often just a few hours. You may want time to exchange information so both sides and the mediator understand what the argument is about, but agreement is possible within a few weeks. This abbreviated timeline is likely to be less expensive, too, allowing you to focus your attention and resources on other important business matters.
3. Mediation Can Foster Lasting Agreements
Relationships matter in business. Lawsuits can, and usually do, damage those relationships. But if parties can, with a mediator’s help, work together to resolve a disagreement, their business relationship is stronger. Because of that cooperative nature of mediation, the final agreement tends to last longer than an outcome imposed by a court, and the parties are better able to solve any future disagreements. The disputing parties often find that they played a key and equal role in negotiating the terms of the final agreement, so they are less likely to raise issues with it in the future.
Determining the Final Outcome
Once the parties arrive at an agreement through mediation, they should put all of the terms in writing. This written agreement becomes an enforceable contract, and the parties may consider the dispute formally resolved. While mediation may not lead to an agreement in every case, the process offers an alternative way of resolving disputes for many businesses that are looking for thoughtful and collaborative outcomes.
If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of using mediation to resolve a business law matter in Minneapolis or St. Paul, contact the dedicated legal team at Rubric Legal LLC by calling (612) 465-0074 today.