“I’ll see you in court!” doesn’t need to be the go-to reaction when your business finds itself at odds with another business, a customer, or an employee. Lawsuits are always an option, and in some cases the best vehicle for getting your disagreement worked out. But often there are less expensive and less confrontational options.
Mediation, for example, offers you a way to quickly get to the root of the disagreement, forge a solution that makes sense for everyone involved, preserve relationships, and get back to business. In Minnesota, mediation (or some other form of alternative dispute resolution) is required in just about every lawsuit, so it is worth considering whether to give it a try before you even start the lawsuit.
A Collaborative Environment
Lawsuits are adversarial by nature. To a great extent, the structure of litigation forces both sides to try to make the other side look bad (or at least wrong). And then it leaves a judge or jury to decide who is right, or at least less wrong. That process has a tendency to make parties who are already in a disagreement like each other less and less – making productive discussions more challenging.
In contrast, mediation encourages the parties to talk and listen to each other so they can decide the outcome of their conflict. The collaborative approach of mediation frequently improves communication between the parties, preserving key relationships long after the process concludes.
Mediation Often Saves Time and Money
It takes time to prepare for litigation. You’ll work with an attorney to build your case, and the courtroom proceedings may take several months to schedule. Additionally, the costs of litigation can add up quickly, creating additional financial stress for both parties. The informality of mediation can save a considerable amount of money, and the process moves much faster and more efficiently than litigation. You will be able to work through the issue and arrive at a resolution within a shorter time frame, allowing you to move forward and focus once more on running your business.
The Parties Control the Conversation
One of the main benefits of mediation is how the process entrusts the parties with determining the outcome. The mediator serves as a neutral third party, laying the ground rules and encouraging the parties to listen carefully to one another. Should a conversation stall or an obstacle arise, the mediator will help the parties work through the issue and continue their negotiations. Mediation doesn’t always lead to an agreement. But it usually does – and even when it doesn’t, the parties often walk away with a better understanding of the dispute, and that may lead them to a settlement down the road. And when parties do reach agreement, they’re usually happier with it than with whatever outcome they may have secured in court because they controlled and crafted the solution.
As a Minneapolis business owner, facing a legal dispute can be challenging. Call Rubric Legal LLC today at (612) 465-0074 to learn more about why mediation may help you achieve your goals.