Small business owners are just as likely as big corporations to encounter disputes, conflict, broken contracts, and unfairness in business. Unlike big companies, small business owners have unique flexibility in how they want to respond to and resolve conflict. Often this includes mediation for business disputes.
When broken contracts happen between two mega corporations, there is no personal relationship to preserve, and a human resources department and public relations department can quickly work to smooth over ruffled feathers. As a small business owner without a small army of corporate resources at your disposal, mediating contract disputes may be the best, most cost-effective way forward for your company. Additionally, mediation can help build and preserve relationships between business owners, vendors, customers, and others, even in the midst of a dispute.
At the Curley Law Firm, we work with business owners to develop sound, cost-effective alternative dispute resolution strategies to build a business and preserve relationships. Read on, or contact us today, if you are ready to file for mediation or want to learn more about how this form of alternative dispute resolution could work for your business.
Advantages of Business Mediation
Because of its potential to save costs and build relationships, more and more businesses are turning to alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to address problems when they arise. If your case has already gone to court, depending on the venue, you may be able to file for mediation and request that the parties have a chance to work things out on their own before returning to the trenches of litigation.
What Is Mediation?
In mediation, a neutral third person called the mediator meets with the parties at their request. The goal is for a mediator to help the parties see if a dispute can be diverted from the civil court system or be kept out of court entirely.
An experienced mediator can carefully guide the mediation process and manage a settlement between the parties to help resolve their dispute. Mediation for business disputes is most effective when the mediator can help both parties focus on their shared business interests and practical considerations for all involved. This can help re-focus the dispute between the parties into an opportunity for mutual gain.
Getting Ready to File for Mediation
If the parties have not yet filed a complaint and requested the intervention of a court, one party can ask another party to agree to mediation for the business disputes at hand as a first step in resolving the problems. Because the parties make the agreement to participate in mediation together, nothing further is required unless the parties are not able to agree on a settlement.
Common Issues Mediating Contract Disputes
Mediation has shown some impressive results. The vast majority of disputes referred to mediation are typically defused without being litigated, depending on the nature of the matter and the reasonableness of the parties. For instance, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) calculates that over 90% of business disputes diverted to mediation through its programs end in a settlement that both parties voluntarily accept. Disputes commonly mediated include:
- Contract disputes,
- Construction disagreements, and
- Equity claims.
Mediation is a good tool for creating fairness. While calling for mediation might not always be the right choice, it is worth exploring. At the Curley Law Firm, we help business owners decide whether their dispute is right for mediation.
How to File a Motion for Mediation
Disputes That Have Not Yet Been Filed in Court
As we mentioned, the best time to mediate is before a dispute becomes a lawsuit. If you think you may want to use mediation for business disputes, discuss the matter with an experienced Texas business lawyer. A knowledgeable business lawyer can help draft a letter to the other party requesting mediation and can help you find a qualified mediator. If you have resolved disputes through mediation before, you may already have a mediator you know and trust and would like to use again.
Disputes That Need to Be Diverted from Litigation
If you are already in court, you may file a motion for mediation and ask the court to divert the matter out of litigation. The nature of this process will depend heavily on the facts of the complaint and the venue of the litigation. At the Curley Law Firm, our experienced Texas business lawyers understand the nuances of requesting alternative dispute resolution and asking the courts to help.
How the Curley Law Firm Can Help
At the Curley Law Firm, we have spent over a decade helping business owners resolve disputes without a trip to the courthouse. However, if the need to litigate does arise, our team will zealously advocate for your rights. An experienced Houston business dispute attorney at the Curley Law Firm can help resolve disputes quickly so owners can get back to what they do best: running the business. Contact us today to learn more.