Small business may be the backbone of our economy, but that doesn’t make it immune from serious legal difficulties. Generally, small business owners have to keep an eye on all expenses, including expenses related to contract disputes and lawsuits. Mediation for small business owners may help settle disagreements in a cost-effective way.
What is mediation?
It’s a form of alternative dispute resolution that allows people and companies to settle their legal disagreements with the help of a mediator. Rather than going to trial, the parties meet with an objective third party – the mediator. The mediator does not hand down a decision, like a judge. Instead, he or she works with all parties to facilitate a settlement of their issues.
Mediation is not binding or appealable unless stated in the parties’ settlement agreement.
How can mediation for small business owners help?
It’s easy to get overwhelmed trying to deal with a lawsuit or even just a major conflict. For example, a small business owner may have a spat with a vendor who provides materials necessary to the company’s continued operations. The business may lose money or even have to layoff workers until the dispute is settled. If either party files a lawsuit, settlement can take months or years.
In addition, mediation can provide some additional benefits for small business owners:
- Saving Time. From the moment a legal disagreement arises until the time trial ends can be months or years. Mediation often occurs soon after the conflict has boiled over. Instead of years, a small business owner may be able to reach a resolution in a few months. However, this time period may vary depending on the type of case. The small business owner also may spend their time focusing on running the company instead of running to court.
- Saving Money. While there are fees associated with participating in mediation, they pale in comparison to the cost of taking a lawsuit to trial.
One final benefit: because the parties arrived at their solution together, they may be more likely to honor the terms of their settlement.
Why Use Mediation to Solve a Legal Problem?
Mediation, for small business owners, can help keep the focus on business operations. Attorney Bruce Adams is an Alabama attorney who knows how to listen to his client’s legal concerns and provide actionable advice. He also offers mediation services. Please contact Bruce at 256-237-3339 to set up an appointment. Our office is located in Anniston, Alabama, but we assist clients in surrounding Calhoun, Cleburne, Etowah, and St. Clair Counties.