Georgia business owners like you want to avoid conflict and disputes where possible. Unfortunately, disputes are a part of owning a business and are sometimes unavoidable. What can you do in a situation where you cannot solve a dispute on your own?
You can go for litigation, which is the traditional means of handling disputes that involves going to court. Or, you could try an alternative method of resolving your issues.
Why look into alternative methods?
FINRA discusses two of the most common alternative dispute resolution methods. They are arbitration and mediation. They differ from litigation, which is often time-consuming and costly. Not to mention the fact that taking someone to court leaves bad blood in its wake, which is the last thing a business owner wants. You want to build bridges, not burn them down.
Arbitration vs. mediation
Arbitration lies somewhere between mediation and litigation. It does not involve going to court or a judge overseeing your case. This means that your dispute gets kept out of public documents. However, an arbitrator serves a similar purpose to a judge. They listen to all sides of an argument and hand down a legally binding decision from there.
Mediation is the most free-form option, as a mediator does not have the power to make a legally binding decision for you. Instead, they listen to all parties and mediate discussions, ensuring everyone has their chance to talk. They also pitch in ideas or offer suggestions based on what they hear. However, drafting up the final agreement and signing a mutual contract is up to you, not the mediator. This gives you plenty of freedom and is perfect if your dispute is not serious enough to require arbitration.