The vast majority of business disputes eventually settle. In fact, more than 90% of all civil cases filed will never be tried. So if your business litigation is likely to be resolved at some point, the question that arises is: Why does it take so long?
The entire litigation process could be handled more efficiently, and far less expensively, if cases were just settled quickly. Unfortunately, it is far more common for cases to be litigated for months or years before a settlement is reached. During this period, the parties will devote substantial time and money to their cases. Everyone involved in the process is aware of this, so what are the factors that prevent a quicker and less expensive outcome?
Passion – Business disputes very frequently arise from relationships that have been strained to the breaking point. When animosity and bad will predominate, the litigants will choose litigation over a speedy resolution.
Inertia – Litigation is an adversarial process and both sides want to win. Attorneys who are compensated to win will pursue that path. This will lead to protracted results far more often than it will lead to a compromise. If you are not actively focusing on finding a resolution, you will probably find more litigation instead.
Stubborness – a news flash for business litigants. A settlement requires compromise. If you are too stubborn to compromise on points, your case will never settle quickly and you will spend more time and money getting a result. That’s okay, so long as you understand the risks and benefits of foregoing an available resolution. If you absolutely need to win, do not settle. Pro tip: there are generally some aspects of a business litigation settlement that benefit both sides. Identifying them and building on them is a good way to generate momentum that can lead to a settlement of all issues.