Business owners have multiple communications with others throughout their day. Most of those interactions will be positive experiences for both parties.
However, it’s a fact that in the business world, disputes and conflicts are inevitable. Knowing how to handle these issues is crucial to minimize disruption to the organization.
Mediation versus litigation
When dealing with a legal dispute, it can be challenging to determine the best way to proceed. Two standard options are mediation and litigation. Each is distinctly different from the other, and each has advantages and disadvantages.
Mediation is where a neutral third party facilitates a conversation between the disputing parties, with the goal of reaching a mutually acceptable resolution. The Tennessee Supreme Court recognizes that mediation has the advantages of efficiency, confidentiality and cost-effectiveness. Furthermore, it allows both parties to have more control over the outcome. With that understanding in mind, they enacted Rule 31 to assist litigants and their attorneys with the mediation process.
However, mediation has disadvantages, including no guaranteed resolution, and the parties may end up in litigation anyway.
Litigation is the process of taking a dispute to court to be decided by a judge or jury. Litigation does tend to be more adversarial and, thus, more stressful. Furthermore, it’s more expensive and time-consuming, sometimes taking months or years for a final resolution.
But it does have the advantage of the court’s verdict being final and legally binding. It also becomes a public record, possibly deterring others from taking similar actions.
A third option is Arbitration which is typically final and binding on the parties. Arbitration has its own set of pros and cons.
Deciding which option is best depends on your dispute’s specifics and your relationship with the other party. You should discuss your situation with someone who can guide you in the best direction.