Your business relies on contracts to do everything from define terms of employment to enforce sales terms and everything in between. When the terms of a contract are contract are broken, the offending party could face a breach of contract lawsuit. However, these can be long, arduous, and extremely expensive for both parties and it’s not usually preferable for either. Instead, you have a number of options when it comes to dispute resolution that can help you find a mutually-beneficial solution in a much quicker and more cost-effective manner. Let’s look at them in more detail.
This is perhaps the most basic means of settling differences. Using negotiation means both parties agree to meet and work out a deal to resolve the terms of the contract. No judge or third party is involved in any way. The biggest benefit to this is that it’s arguably the cheapest way of resolving a dispute and can be the quickest. Parties control the entire process, make their own agreements, and can create a mutual win-win situation. On the downside, these proceedings are informal and unstructured, one side may not get the most fair and desirable outcome, depending on how negotiations go.
Mediation is a slightly more formal and structured process than negotiation. In these proceedings, a third party gets involved to essentially bridge the gap between the two sides and help them come to a mutually-agreeable resolution. While a mediator doesn’t resolve disputes, they give both parties the tools to do so on their own through a flexible and voluntary means.
Perhaps the largest advantage of this for businesses is that mediation remains private, avoiding public disclosure of problems and bad publicity that can come from it. It can also allow for the preservation of relationships. Selecting a mediator also isn’t extremely difficult; most attorneys provide litigation services or can recommend a specialized, reputable mediator.
Arbitration is a more formal and structured method of mediation, but involves a third party who does get involved and can make decisions regarding the conclusion of your case. In these scenarios, both sides are allowed to present evidence supporting their claims, and an arbitrator eventually makes a decision that will be considered final for both parties. These decisions are non-binding and you can still take the decision to trial, however it can be difficult to overturn an arbitrator’s decision once it is given. Arbitration should only be used when previous methods of resolution have failed, but it can be far quicker and cost-effective than a full-fledged trial over a contract dispute.
This is the last and arguably most difficult option. Litigation is essentially a contract dispute lawsuit that is presented before a judge with evidence after discovery requests by both sides. Contract dispute litigation is a long process that involves both sides retaining legal representation, preparing a case, and then presenting and arguing it for quite some time.
There are plenty of reasons to want to avoid contract dispute litigation. For starters, litigation is involuntary: if you are served a lawsuit, you must participate. These are extremely formal proceedings, involving strict rules and procedures, trials are public and can lead to bad publicity, and they can be extremely expensive. Whoever winds up “losing” in business litigation (being ruled against) usually winds up unhappy, and may even be forced to pay the expensive court costs for the other party. These decisions are binding, and are based entirely on the law.
If you need assistance with a contract dispute, a Dallas business litigation attorney can help you before your case reaches court. At Deans & Lyons, LLP, we have represented businesses and business owners for many years through many different contract disputes. We recognize the need to act quickly in order to come to an adequate and satisfactory dispute resolution while protecting your business’s rights. We have successfully recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients, and we are proud of our reputation as one of the most trusted choices for business law representation in the community.If you are facing a contract dispute issue, let the skilled attorneys at Deans & Lyons, LLP help you find the resolution that works for you and your business. Call (844) 297-8898 today to schedule your initial consultation.