Should You Pursue Mediation Or Litigation For Your Business Dispute?
Whether you need to sue a business associate or you are being sued, there are two basic paths to choose from: litigation and mediation. Which is right for your business dispute? The answer depends on the specifics of the case and your goals. To help you make the best call, here are a few times to consider litigation and some when mediation may be the best choice.
When to Mediate
Mediation is a nonbinding process of negotiation with the aid of a professional mediator. You and the other party sit down and seek to find a compromise that is amenable to both sides.
In the business world, this is particularly useful when you want to preserve the business relationship. If it's a business partner, a prominent member of your community, or a vendor you still need to work with, it's often better to make sure things stay civil and everyone walks away with some kind of win. This is even more important if it's a family business.
Finally, mediation is less expensive than going all the way to trial. If the matter isn't worth a significant amount of money or your business is on a budget, mediation gets it over with so you can get back to business.
When to Litigate
Litigation is the traditional path through the court system, where you both end up presenting your sides of the case to a judge or jury. These persons then make a decision and determine what sorts of financial damages or other remedies they feel are appropriate.
Unlike mediation, litigation takes place in open court so the public has access to information about the trial. Public knowledge is key if you need to defend your reputation against something like slander or libel. Successfully proving in public that you did not do what you're accused of protects your brand.
In addition, a trial verdict is binding on the other party and it's entered into the public record. This makes them responsible not only to abide by its terms but also prevents them from engaging in the same activity in the future. It makes a statement. This may or may not be an important goal in your lawsuit.
Where to Start
No matter which path you ultimately decide is the right one, the best place to begin is by engaging a civil litigation attorney in your state. They will work with you to assess the strengths of your case, your goals, and your opponent's chances so you can choose wisely between these two viable options. Call today to make an appointment.
For more information, contact a local civil litigation attorney.