Certainly, alternative dispute resolution is not a new concept in the realm of law. Many small business owners are aware of the different forms of alternative dispute resolution: mediation, arbitration, or some hybrid of the two. Nonetheless, it is worth a reminder that mediation as a form of alternative dispute resolution can be a good way to significantly reduce the costs and expenses associated with resolving a legal dispute.
It is true that legal disputes can be costly, especially if the matter proceeds to a court trial. In mediation, the parties do not engage in protracted and lengthy discovery process and motion practice. It is intended to be less formal procedurally than litigation, while providing the parties with a forum in which to air their dispute and to obtain resolution thereof.
During mediation, a neutral, third party sits down with both sides and hears their position on the matter, and helps them come to a compromise. For many small businesses, it has other advantages over litigation, which can require a lot of time and expense, and also can be a source of anxiety if called into court to provide testimony.
If you have questions about mediation, you should consult an attorney to obtain additional information on alternative dispute resolution as a cost-savings to small businesses.
Ronald E. Gillette, Esq.