Compared to traditional litigation, mediation offers a number of beneficial ways for resolving business disputes. Such matters can even be handled in business mediation without the need to file a lawsuit at all. But even if litigation has already commenced, you should give serious consideration to mediating the lawsuit.
Whether you have a disagreement with another business party or you’re involved in a case, our experienced Houston business lawyers can assist. Learn more about what the Oracle Legal Group can do for you.
What Is Business Mediation?
If you are a business owner, you may eventually have a dispute with someone. This could be an employee, a partner, a party to a contract, or anyone else with whom you conduct business. While many companies run to the courthouse to file a lawsuit, you have the option to mediate the disagreement instead.
Mediation is an out-of-court alternative dispute resolution method. A neutral third party with no stake in the matter, known as a mediator, helps the parties negotiate a positive resolution.
This individual does so by first learning what the dispute is about. He or she will talk with both parties privately, with their legal counsel, to understand their viewpoints. Both sides will get the chance to informally present their arguments to the meditator.
The mediator has no authority to decide anything in the dispute. This is unlike an arbitrator who can essentially adjudicate the matter as a judge would. Instead, the mediator tries to help the two sides come to an agreement. He or she often does so by explaining how a court might view the matter. In this way, the two sides in the disagreement can weigh the risks of trial against the benefits of mediation.
Business mediation can also be used to settle a lawsuit that has already been filed.
What Are The Benefits of Business Mediation?
If you have a disagreement with a partner, employee, or someone else in business, consider mediation. While one mediation differs from another, you are likely to have benefits like the following.
Control Over The Outcome
The risk of going to trial is that a judge and jury may decide your fate. But these parties can never understand the issues involved as well as you can. Instead of risking this outcome, mediation allows the parties to settle the dispute on their own terms. This gives them the freedom to devise creative solutions that a judge and jury likely would not.
Going to court for hearings, motions, trial, and so forth is stressful. Business mediation, meanwhile, takes place in the more relaxed setting of a law firm office. It should be noted that mediation discussions are generally confidential and therefore inadmissible in court. This gives parties the ability to speak candidly and explore different ways to settle the matter.
Saving Time and Money
Trials are expensive. Besides the paperwork that must be filed and served, parties have to conduct discovery. This process, designed to help a party learn relevant facts of the case, can be time-consuming and costly. So too can hiring expert witnesses to testify at trial, which is necessary in many lawsuits. Delays are common as well.
Conversely, mediation tends to take much less time and money.
Clarifying Issues for Trial
Mediation isn’t always successful at helping parties reach a resolution. But even when it doesn’t work, it can give each side a better understanding of the other’s position. In this way, business mediation helps the two sides appreciate each other’s strengths and weaknesses. This aids in trial preparation if mediation fails.
Maintaining Business Relationships
Businesses frequently have disputes with each other. But they don’t have to destroy the goodwill built between the two parties. Mediation can preserve business relationships that lawsuits often ruin. It can even pave the way for more positive dispute resolution in the future.
The Oracle Legal Group Can Represent You in Mediation
During mediation, the parties are allowed – and strongly advised – to have legal counsel present. That’s where the Oracle Legal Group comes in. We can help negotiate a positive outcome to your Houston business dispute.
We can also advise you of the legal risks and benefits of settling certain issues with the other party. This will help you make an educated decision as to whether a settlement or a trial is the best way forward. Give our team a call today at 832-291-2798 or contact us online to learn more.