By Dr. Justin Wood
You opened your business for many reasons, so you could spend days and weeks with lawyers and in court wasn’t one of them. If you have a difficult business dispute there are other options to protect your interests and still avoid court.
Professional mediation involves hiring a neutral party trained in helping disputing sides come to an agreement both can live with, without having to go to court. Mediation is confidential and unlike filing a lawsuit, it does not create a pubic record.
Mediation avoids the negative public perception.
You are protected against bad press and possible loss of business from an open public dispute. Furthermore, employees get worried when they hear of a lawsuit and the first thing on their mind is:
“Will I have a job or will the lawsuit
shut the company down”?
When you reach an agreement in mediation an enforceable agreement is created and both sides walk away and get back to business. While court cases often drag on for months and even years, constantly racking up huge attorney fees, mediation resolves cases quickly and efficiently.
Many disputes are be resolved in a single day or just hours. For most businesses the biggest advantage of mediation is that they remain in control of the outcome. You choose to agree with a proposal or you reject it. There is no judge or jury forcing a solution on you. The mediator helps both sides find common ground and both sides propose the solution.
Everyone who has been in court knows the wait and time involved. What is worse is the wait and time and effort involved to collect if you do win. Just because to won the court battle does not mean you will get paid.
If the other side doesn’t “pony up the dough” then you’re back in court for a hearing on assets, garnishments or even sheriff sales. In a mediated agreement the other side has already agreed to pay and given a date and timeline. Yes, everyone can lie and renege but many, just like you, want to move on too.
The next time you find yourself in a business dispute, don’t waste valuable time and money on a slow and inefficient court system. Hire an experienced professional mediator so you can get back to what matters most, running your business.