Texas business owners know that sometimes disputes are inevitable. You may find yourself in a dispute with a business partner, a supplier, an employee or a client.
A business dispute can cost you quite a bit. You run the risk of losing money, time and your good reputation. While your initial reaction might be to go to court and litigate the dispute, business mediation is an option you might want to consider first.
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. Many businesses today are using mediation to resolve disputes.
Advantages of mediation
There are many reasons for this. Mediation is generally faster and less costly than traditional litigation.
The mediation process is also less adversarial than litigation. If you are interested in preserving your relationship with the other party, there is typically a better chance of that happening after mediation.
Like most business owners, you probably want to avoid negative media attention. Mediation is a confidential process, which means the results of your mediation are not made public. This is unlike traditional litigation, where many trials are open to the public and subject to media reporting.
How mediation works
Mediation involves a meeting between you, the other party and a mediator. You can have more than one meeting if necessary, depending on the complexity of the dispute.
The mediator is a neutral third-party. They will listen to each of you present your sides of the dispute and offer advice and suggestions for resolution.
However, unlike a judge, a mediator has no power to decide the outcome of your business dispute. They cannot take sides or support one side’s argument over the others. Their job is to listen and guide you toward a solution that works best.
If you resolve your dispute through mediation, the resolution is put into a signed, written agreement. If you cannot resolve your dispute through mediation, litigation may be your only remaining option.