Running a successful business requires considerable time and dedication. The last thing any business owner needs is the cost and disruption associated with litigation.
But business disputes do sometimes arise and it may be necessary to either file a lawsuit or defend against claims brought by another party.
Increasingly, businesses in Washington are turning to mediation in hopes of resolving disputes outside of court.
What is mediation?
Mediation is a process in which a neutral mediator helps guide parties toward voluntary resolution of disputes. Meditators are specially trained to assist parties in communicating and finding common ground that could lead to settlement.
In essence, the mediator helps facilitate settlement discussions.
Importantly, the mediator does not impose their will on the parties. Whether to settle and under what terms are completely up to the parties.
Advantages of mediation
Mediation offers several benefits.
Resolution through mediation often saves time and reduces litigation expenses by eliminating the need for trial. It allows the parties themselves to determine the terms of any disposition, rather than facing the uncertainty of a trial.
Settlement through mediation also enables parties to keep their disputes private and avoid the need to air their grievances in public.
If the parties hope to maintain a future business relationship, mediation can be especially valuable by helping the parties settle their dispute and establish a framework for moving forward. This may allow the parties to maintain a mutually beneficial relationship in the future.
Advice on mediation
An experienced business attorney can help explore whether mediation is right for you. If you do mediate, legal counsel can offer guidance on potential settlement, as well as the impact of rejecting a settlement and proceeding with litigation.