When it comes to civil court, many of the parties involved in business disputes should consider mediation. Litigation is often required if one or both parties do not want to participate in mediation or if a settlement cannot be reached during mediation. However, mediation is sometimes ordered by the court. If you're not familiar with some of the factors associated with business contract mediation, consider the following:
When should a company mediate a dispute?
In many cases, mediation is tried before a lawsuit is filed in court. The two sides of a business dispute may attempt mediation to save on the costs of going to court. The longer mediation has gone on, the better chance there is for a settlement.
What does the mediation process entail?
It is started by the attorney for one side. A conference call will include all parties so that the specifics can be sorted out, such as who will need to attend, where it will be located, when it will happen and what materials will be needed. When the two parties arrive, they will be put in separate rooms. The mediator goes back and forth between the two parties to get the information needed to reach a settlement.
Does a mediator make a final ruling?
A mediator does not make a ruling that is considered final and binding. Instead, he or she makes suggestions to both parties on how to resolve the dispute. If the suggestion is not acceptable to both parties, then the mediation will continue.
What happens if mediation is not successful?
If both parties have tried to have a successful mediation process, and it hasn't produced a reasonable solution they are happy with, the case will proceed to court. A judge or jury will then hear the evidence in the case and issue a verdict.
If you have a business dispute in which you cannot work out a solution with the other side, it is worth your time and effort to see if mediation will work for you. An experienced attorney can help you learn more about mediation and litigation.