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Commercial Mediation

Saved Reputations and Relationships

CommercialMediation-BabyIn the business world, few things are as important as one’s reputation or their professional relationships. Public lawsuits, win or lose, can destroy a business’s reputation and once-valued professional relationships. Voltaire famously said, “I was never ruined but twice: once when I lost a lawsuit and once when I won one.” Approximately 300 years later, his words still ring true. No matter the outcome of a lawsuit, in many cases, no one truly wins.

Because of this truth, the number of disputes successfully resolved through the informal mediation process has grown significantly over the last decade. As such, mediation has become my primary focus for the last several years, in terms of commercial disputes.

Increased Control

Mediation is an effective way to resolve a conflict within a business or between a business and another party. In the mediation process, all parties have continuous control over the process and final decision. Rather than a judge deciding who wins, mediation gives opposing parties the opportunity to reach a decision themselves.

Benefits Over Litigation

When it comes to business disputes, the mediation process offers many benefits over formal litigation, including:

  • Confidentiality—Mediation can be as confidential as the parties agree, allowing parties to protect the image of their business throughout the process. Information regarding a lawsuit, on the other hand, is available to customers, employees, and business contacts, often through a simple online search.
  • Timeliness—Even when eventually settled out of court, a litigation can last for months or years before a settlement is reached. The mediation process can be invoked at any time—before, during, or even after a litigation (before appeals or collection of a judgment). Once a mediation is convened, the dispute can often be resolved in a matter of hours or days.
  • Mutually Beneficial—Mediation typically yields a win-win result. In any event, both parties are often relieved when the matter is over.
  • Cost—As most mediation disputes are resolved within a matter of hours or days, each party’s cost for lawyers and experts will be substantially lower than the total price tag of a formal litigation.

The mediation process is a low-cost, low-risk venture. While voluntary mediations typically result in settlement, if nothing is resolved, the losses are minimal. In these circumstances, you’ll have the option to continue the dispute in court or accept a settlement later—with a better understanding of all sides of the case and the underlying interests of the other side.