Business disputes can cost your business both time and money, especially those that lead to litigation. In litigation, the business owner winds up giving over control of the situation to strangers–attorneys and judges who may have little or no experience in running a business and certainly limited knowledge of your business.
To avoid those problems, many business owners turn to mediation. Mediation allows you to deal with disputes directly, whether you feel your business is suffering because of communication issues or any of the following situations:
- Partnership issues
- Mergers and acquisitions difficulties
- Family owned business internal probems
- Lease agreements
- Vendor issues
- Key executives
- Contract disputes
- Board of Directors issues
- Professional fee disputes
Costs to business from personal disputes experienced by management and staff, like divorce, are often an unrecognized drain on your business, too. See, for example, the blog post Employee Productivity and Divorce.
The mediation process is timely and, unlike litigation where the process becomes public record, mediation is confidential. This confidentiality can result in a willingness of the parties to be more open in resolving their dispute.
The cost of mediation is less if parties choose to participate without lawyers, which means the only person they pay is the mediator and any other experts, such as accountants who may have input in the process. If the parties choose to to hire lawyers, the time spent by those lawyers is considerably less than time spent preparing for court.
Certainly, there are times when litigation is necessary but when it is not, mediation makes sense. Choose mediation when the legal system cannot provide the remedy you want, as when:
- You want to end a problem, not a relationship;
- Your dispute is private and you want to keep it that way;
- You want to minimize costs;
- You want to settle your dispute promptly;