As a business owner in Minnesota, you probably recognize that disagreements happen from time to time. However, when a dispute arises that requires outside assistance, it’s important to understand your options for seeking a resolution.. Most people are familiar with the litigation process — the proverbial “I’ll see you in court!” Mediation is an alternative that offers a collaborative approach to resolving a business dispute, as the parties work together under the guidance of a neutral third party to create a mutually satisfying outcome. Here are some common questions and information about the mediation process for Minneapolis businesses.
How Does Mediation Differ From Litigation?
In litigation, the disputing parties and their respective attorneys present their cases to the judge or jury, and it’s that judge or jury who decides what happens. Litigation is governed by procedural and evidence rules the lawyers and judge need to follow, which sometimes limit the information the judge or jury even get to consider.
In general, mediation tends to be much less formal than litigation, as the parties negotiate with one another instead of appealing to a higher authority. The mediator facilitates conversations and negotiations between the parties, but this neutral third party does not make any decisions about the outcome—it’s up to the parties to shape the resolution themselves.
Why Should I Choose Mediation?
Well, for one thing, you may not have much choice. In Minnesota, courts require the parties to lawsuits to try mediation or another form of alternative dispute resolution. But there’s a better reason to consider mediation: Parties who can approach the mediation process with open minds and a willingness to collaborate often find success through this process. They take a more active role in determining the outcome, empowering them to take control of the course of these negotiations and reach a resolution that serves both of their interests. Generally, mediation requires significantly less time than litigation, making mediation a cost-effective alternative to the court process. Additionally, mediation tends to preserve business relationships, as the parties work together to reach a solution.
Is the Outcome of Mediation Legally Binding?
Generally, yes. If the parties arrive at a settlement through mediation, the agreement often is put into writing and becomes a binding contract. But as with most things in mediation, whether to commit themselves to a binding agreement at the end of the mediation is up to the parties. As you explore your dispute resolution options in Minneapolis and St. Paul, consider speaking to a knowledgeable mediator to learn more about the benefits of this process.
Learn more about the business mediation process in Minneapolis by calling Rubric Legal LLC today at (612) 465-0074.