Commercial disputes arise in a relationship between business partners when one of them fails to adhere to the contract or violates their fiduciary duties. Consumers and employees may also bring claims against businesses giving rise to a commercial dispute.
Keeping down the costs is crucial for maintaining a profitable business enterprise. Interactions between business partners usually go uninterrupted until one fails to deliver goods on time or pay the price on the due date. Disputes that arise from a breach of contract or other reasons disrupt regular business dynamics. Successful cooperation depends on resolving the conflict and overcoming obstacles for a profitable relationship.
However, resolving a business dispute can be costly and time-consuming. That is especially true if business partners opt for litigation. Commercial disputes are far more complicated than civil disputes. They often involve different jurisdictions and class actions. Furthermore, litigation procedure in commercial disputes consists of numerous pre-trial motions, complex discovery, and burdensome expert witness testimony. That inevitably increases the costs and drags the process for years.
Undoubtedly, litigation is an expensive process. But it can cost you a profitable business relationship, too. Namely, resolving disputes in litigation is an adversarial and vindictive process. The focus of litigation strategy is winning the case and conquering your adversary. After the litigation is over, one side is always a loser. The losing side pays the entire costs of litigation. When expenses increase, the profits go down. That does not help in maintaining fruitful business relationships. It is virtually impossible to continue doing business with the same partners after a litigated dispute. Therefore, litigation is probably the worst scenario in any business relationship.
For that reason, businesses seek mutually beneficial ways to resolve disputes that arise during their relationship. Commercial partners are eager to resolve the dispute as quickly as possible and continue doing profitable business together.
Contrary to litigation, mediation has numerous benefits in resolving commercial disputes. As an alternative dispute resolution method, mediation proves to be a valuable tool for bringing reconciliation to disputed business partners.
In an ever-changing business environment, wasting several years resolving a business dispute is unthinkable. Yet, that is what happens in court litigation. Since no business entity has the luxury to lose so much time in overcoming a disagreement with their partners, mediation appears to be a perfect alternative. In mediation, dispute resolution occurs in days or even hours. Consequently, the costs are incomparably lower because mediation is free from strict procedural rules typical for litigation. There are no litigation stages that last for ages, and there are no attorney and court filing fees.
Furthermore, mediation offers a sense of control that litigation lacks. The parties in litigation must accept a binding decision of the state-appointed judge. On the other hand, mediation enables the parties to choose a mediator to facilitate their negotiations. The mediator, usually a retired judge or an attorney with expertise in business relationships, does not have the authority to impose a binding decision resolving a dispute. Unlike other alternative methods, the mediator does not propose a solution either. Its role is to create a peaceful and confidential environment and facilitate negotiations.
Confidentiality is perhaps the most distinctive feature of mediation. Before starting mediation, the parties and the mediator sign the confidentiality agreement (usually a clause in the mediation agreement). Both the mediator and the parties take responsibility for keeping secret every aspect of the mediation procedure. Nothing revealed during mediation sessions will ever become a part of the public record. That is of utmost importance because competition in business can be harsh. The competing companies will often capitalize on rumors of an ongoing dispute against one or both parties. That can irretrievably ruin a reputation and chances of future success in the market. Confidentiality of mediation extends to potential litigation, meaning that using confidential information is not allowed in future litigation if mediation turns unsuccessful.
The informality and flexibility of mediation guarantee a quick and cost-friendly process. Mediation consists of several standardized stages. However, the structure and the dynamics of the process depend on the estimation of the mediator in each case.
After a brief introduction, the mediator proceeds with an opening statement by presenting their qualifications and explaining how the mediation process works.
The process then continues to separate talks the mediator holds with each party. These talks are called caucuses. The mediator goes back and forth between session rooms to discuss the matter confidentially with each side. During caucuses, the mediator will identify each party’s strategic position and estimate the possibility of settling the dispute.
Following separate conversations with the mediator, the parties (and their counsels) gather in joint sessions to discuss the matter openly. During the so-called bargaining phase, the parties make offers and counteroffers and negotiate the disputed issues attempting to reach an agreement. Mediators facilitate bargaining using their expertise and experience in high-stake business negotiations. The goal of the entire procedure is to overcome the disagreement and reconciliation of the opposing interests.
If negotiations are successful, the parties draft an agreement and sign it. After signing, the contract is legally binding and enforceable in court.
At the Mediation Group, we specialize in mediating various commercial disputes. The list is long. Breach of contract disputes or violation of fiduciary duty is only a portion of our expertise. We successfully deal with partnership disputes, product liability disputes, intellectual property disputes, insurance coverage, LLC members disputes, antitrust, class action lawsuits, contractor and subcontractor disputes, commercial property disputes, shareholder and non-compete clause disputes, etc.
If your supplier failed to deliver goods on time, or the quality of products does not fit the purpose known to them before entering the contract, you are dealing with a breach of contract. The same applies if, on the other hand, you delivered goods, but the other party failed to pay on the due date. Without adhering to the contract, no business relationship can survive and strive. That is why it is vital to resolve any breach of contract dispute quickly, effectively, and without huge costs. Mediation is the right tool for that, and the Mediation Group has got you covered.
Business partnerships are born when different individuals or business entities have aligned views on business goals, work ethics, and vision of success. However, sometimes those views go in different directions, leading to business partnership disputes. At Mediation Group, we know how to bring reconciliation to disputed business partners.
It is not rare that a corporate board member acts in opposition to the interests of their shareholders. In that case, each shareholder can file a lawsuit initiating litigation because of a breach of fiduciary duty. However, to avoid time-consuming and financially draining litigation, choose Mediation Group. We will facilitate negotiations and ensure the best possible outcome in a breach of fiduciary duty dispute.
Our mediators are well-versed in intellectual property disputes, as well. Violations of copyrights, patents, trade secrets, and trademarks are common in everyday business. With our help, you will effortlessly overcome any disagreement and protect your intellectual property rights.
It is common for employees to sign contracts with non-disclosure and non-compete clauses when they start working for an employer. By signing such a contract, they oblige themselves to keep business information confidential and not work in a competing business for a specific period after terminating their contract. If the employee breaches the agreement, the employer has the right to file a lawsuit to resolve a dispute between them and the employee. As always, we are here to assist you in a peaceful resolution.
Mediation Group is a Florida-based mediation firm comprised of top-notch mediators with years-long experience dealing with commercial disputes.
Contact us today to become a part of our successful record in resolving business disputes. We will help you overcome disagreements with your partners while continuing profitable business relationships.