How Business Mediation Saves Money for Both Parties
Trial preparation can take days of an attorney's time, still with an uncertain outcome and no turning back. That's not including all the additional expenses of getting transcripts of the depositions, copies of all the documents, and various other cash-consuming expenses.
Mediation prep, by comparison, usually means sending the mediator the pleadings and a mediation summary, which is a few pages long. At a certain point in a case, each side has a pretty good idea of the strength of their own case. Depositions have been taken, and testimony and documents have been sworn to. This is the perfect time to mediate.
Business Contract Disputes
There are no disputes when things are going well. Contract disputes happen when things aren't going well, such as shipments not arriving on time, real estate transactions falling apart, or loan agreements not being honored. Typical contract disputes include:
- Recovery of money damages for wrongful acts.
- Recovery of money damages for work performed.
- Seeking to enforce a contract.
- Dissolution of Partnership.
Settling Business Disputes Outside of Court
Lawyers are the only people I know who like being in court. For everyone else, it is nerve-wracking and anxiety–inducing, and full of uncertainty. The parties to a lawsuit have no control over the outcome of a court case.
In mediation, the parties call the shots. They have the final say in the outcome, and how that will look. Each case looks different in the end, usually with an outcome that wasn't predicted in the beginning but which prove satisfactory to both sides.
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Timeline of a Typical Business Mediation
A typical mediation has a day or at least several hours set aside for the purpose. Two conference rooms are needed, more if there are additional parties with different interests.
Mediations can be highly unpredictable, especially if the participants have somewhere to be at a certain time, including a plane to catch. An average mediation lasts 3-5 hours, though 7-8 hours duration is not uncommon.
Complex cases may even last a few days.
Maintaining Privacy through a Business Dispute
Mediations are always confidential proceedings, and the details are not available publicly. Unless required by the Judge, the mediation settlement agreement does not have to be filed with the court, so it remains private.
This is one reason many sensitive disputes are mediated before they become a lawsuit: it stays out of the public domain.