Disputes are an unavoidable part of doing business in Michigan, but, contrary to popular belief, not all such disputes have to cost you a hefty sum. In some cases, you may be able to avoid traditional litigation by engaging in other forms of dispute resolution first.
If you and your colleagues, clients or business associates have been unable to negotiate a resolution to your issue, you may be able to solve things through one of the following methods.
Business mediation is similar to divorce mediation in that both processes involve opposing parties sharing their issues with an impartial mediator. In business mediation, the mediator then recommends what he or she believes is a reasonable solution to the dispute. However, this is just a recommendation. Mediation is often more affordable than courtroom litigation.
Arbitration also requires opposing sides to come together in front of an unbiased third party. However, unlike the recommendation of the mediator, the decision of the arbitrator stands and remains legally binding in many cases. This means you and the other side may not have the option to appeal the decision later. Information revealed during arbitration also remains private.
When a business dispute is especially contentious, or when you and the opposing side are unable to come to an agreement through mediation or arbitration, you may have to litigate your business dispute in a traditional courtroom setting. The information revealed during such a dispute becomes public.
The type of dispute resolution method that may serve your needs most favorably may depend on the degree of animosity between parties and whether you plan to work together in the future.