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3 options for resolving business disputes

On Behalf of | Feb 16, 2024 | Business & Commercial Litigation |

Business disputes are an inevitable part of operating in the commercial world. However, they do not need to escalate into prolonged conflicts.

When disagreements arise, businesses have several avenues for resolution. Each avenue has its advantages and considerations.

1. Mediation

Mediation involves a neutral third party, known as a mediator, who helps disputing parties reach a mutually acceptable resolution. Unlike arbitration or litigation, mediation does not result in a binding decision imposed by the mediator. Instead, the mediator facilitates communication and negotiation between the parties, helping them explore options and find common ground. Mediation is a collaborative process that encourages parties to work together to find solutions while preserving relationships.

2. Arbitration

Arbitration is a more formal process. In arbitration, a neutral arbitrator hears arguments and evidence from both sides and renders a binding decision. Unlike mediation, arbitration results in a final and enforceable decision, similar to a court judgment. Arbitration offers several advantages, including faster resolution, greater privacy and more flexibility in scheduling proceedings. However, parties relinquish some control over the outcome, as the arbitrator’s decision is legally binding.

3. Litigation

Per the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, businesses spend an average of $1.2 million a year on litigation. Litigation involves resolving disputes through the court system, where parties present their case to a judge or jury, who then decides the outcome. Litigation is often seen as a last resort due to its adversarial nature. However, litigation provides parties with the opportunity to present evidence, cross-examine witnesses and appeal decisions. While litigation offers a formal and authoritative resolution, it can strain relationships and lead to lengthy proceedings.

By understanding the differences between these options, businesses can effectively navigate disputes and find solutions that meet their needs while minimizing disruption.