Most California business owners find themselves embroiled in one or more business disputes at some point during their careers. Whether your dispute arises over contract terms, employee complaints, or something else, you need to figure out the most effective way to resolve it.
According to Harvard Law School. most people who need to work through business or employment disputes use one or more of the following three methods to resolve them.
Trying to negotiate a solution that appeases both sides may prove to be a smart first move. Mediating a business dispute is similar to mediating a divorce in that opposing sides work with a third party (mediator) to sort through their differences. It also gives all sides involved in the matter a chance to vent, which may go a long way in terms of easing conflict. Mediation is usually much more economical and less time-intensive than arbitration or litigation.
Arbitration, like mediation, requires you and anyone else involved in the matter to work with a third party (arbitrator) to resolve the problem. Arbitration is different than mediation, however, in that it involves a hearing which is conducted like a trial, and that the decision of an arbitrator can be legally binding, while the opinion of a mediator is not.
When other options fail, or when opposing parties are unwilling to consider mediation or arbitration, you may have to litigate your business dispute in court. In litigation, both sides typically retain legal counsel and plead their cases before a judge or jury makes a final decision on the matter.
While mediation, arbitration, and litigation are not necessarily your only options when it comes to resolving a business or employment dispute, these are the most common methods.