Pennsylvania business owners like you should have plans in place if you get into a dispute. You want to avoid disputes to the best of your ability, of course. But sometimes, they end up being unavoidable. When that happens, what do you do?
You have several legal options available. Some of the most discussed include litigation, mediation and arbitration.
Why is litigation not always the best choice?
FINRA discusses arbitration versus mediation. They stand opposite of litigation. Litigation is the harshest option of the three. It allows you to have a judge on your case. This means that the decision the judge hands down is legally binding. If the proceedings go in your favor, this will save you a lot of trouble with negotiations. On the downside, your business is public because you take it to a court. Litigation is also time-consuming and expensive. You burn bridges, too.
Arbitration vs mediation
In business, one of the most important aspects is preserving your business relations. You want to avoid burning these bridges. Mediation and arbitration work better for that. Arbitration falls somewhere between litigation and mediation. An arbitrator has the power to hand down a legally binding decision. But it is less costly than going to court. Your business is not publicized, too. This allows for a higher chance of maintaining friendly relations.
Mediation is at the other end of the spectrum. The decision of a mediator is not legally binding. They listen to all sides present their arguments and offer insight and opinions. Their suggestions are valuable due to their third party perspective. The decision is not binding, but you can maintain friendly relations. It lets you work things out among yourselves with plenty of freedom.