In a Business Dispute? 3 Ways You Can Avoid Litigation

There are lots of reasons a business owner in the midst of a dispute might want to avoid litigation. Of course, there are situations in which litigation is appropriate and even necessary, but more often managing the dispute out of court is far preferable. Going to court is expensive. And what’s more, a trial may bring unwanted attention that’s bad for business. It can also provide a distraction that takes your employees’ minds off of what they need to be doing to move the company forward. 

Ideally, every business would run so smoothly and be so conflict-free that disputes would never arise. Unfortunately, that’s just not the reality. And while it’s a great standard to aim for, it’s also good to know what you can do to avoid litigation should a dispute arise.

1) Negotiation

We use negotiation skills in daily life all the time. A negotiation, in a business dispute context, is a one-on-one conversation between the disputing parties in which they try to find a resolution that will satisfy them both. Usually, both sides have to be willing to compromise or they will not be able to reach a conclusion.

2) Arbitration

To solve a dispute through arbitration, the disputing parties hand the decision about their dispute over to an impartial party. This can be an individual (arbitrator) or a panel (arbitration panel). It will be necessary for both parties to agree that the decision reached through arbitration will be final, just as if it were a decision made by a court. Then, each side (or their attorneys) presents an argument and the arbitrator or arbitration panel determines what should happen.  

3) Mediation

Sometimes a situation is too complex for negotiation or arbitration. Sometimes the disputing parties have an ongoing business relationship that complicates the decision-making. In these cases, mediation may be the best option. An impartial mediator will work one-on-one with each side separately and then determine what sort of settlement they should come to. 

Which method is best for my business dispute?

An experienced attorney can help you determine if negotiation, arbitration, or mediation is the right path for solving your dispute, or if it’s likely to require litigation. They can also represent you as you communicate with the other party, or the arbitrator or mediator. At Bradford, LTD, we have extensive experience counseling business owners. Call us at 303-325-5467 to find out how we can help you!  

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Bradford LTD specializes in IP protections and maximization for startups and small businesses. We also provide scaled legal services to our clients, including fractional legal counsel and value-based rates. From trademark, copyright and service mark protections to patent protection and outside inside counsel, we help position entrepreneurs and owners for long-term success.

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