FAQs About Using Mediation For Business Disputes

Conflicts with an employee, business partner, vendor, or customer can be costly to resolve if the court becomes involved. To save money, some business owners are turning to mediation before taking any other legal steps. If you are considering mediation to resolve a business-related dispute, here is what you need to know.  

Why Choose Mediation? 

Mediation is usually less expensive than going to court. Instead of paying for court filing fees, you can pay a mediator to help settle the dispute. You and the other party can even split the cost of the mediator to further cut down on expenses. You can still receive advice from your business lawyer, but his or her fees are far less than they would be if you headed to court.  

Mediation also gives you the opportunity to potentially save your relationship with the other party. If the other party is an employee or vendor who you rely on to help keep your business on track, mediation could be a lifeline for your company.  

What Should You Remember in Mediation? 

During mediation, it is important to remember to stay calm and focus on negotiating. If you become upset or personalize the conflict that you are having with the other party, you can lose sight of the end goal. When that happens, reaching a compromise will be more difficult.  

You also need to remember that exercising tact is important. If you attack the other person or brutally state your side of the conflict, the other party could become defensive and be unwilling to negotiate. Start the negotiations by owning what is yours. Apologize for any wrong actions that you committed. By doing this, you can not only help to keep the lines of communication open, but you can possibly disarm the other party so that he or she is less likely to attack you.  

What If Mediation Does Not Work? 

Ideally, the mediation will work and both parties will leave with some sense of satisfaction. However, if mediation does not work, you and the other party have the right to take further action. If you were able to work out some part of the conflict, both of you can agree to follow that particular part of the agreement but take other measures to resolve the rest.  

Before attending mediation, work with your business law attorney to determine what a just resolution to your conflict is. He or she can also help you evaluate any offers of settlement that you receive from the other party before you agree to them.