Barbara Starke Tishuk
Attorney & Mediator
Disputes are common in the business world and all too often destroy valuable business relationships. Whether the business interests involved are small or large, it can be difficult – often impossible – for two parties to recover after they have been pitted against one another in the courtroom. Unfortunately, no matter how valuable the relationship, a trial can lead to destruction and permanent animosity.
Luckily, there is an alternative that offers a clear path to dispute resolution without a scorched-earth policy along the way. Mediation brings together disputing parties to resolve their matter and does so in a way that is respectful and advantageous to both parties. At the heart of commercial mediation is communication and negotiation, so nobody ever walks away from the mediation process feeling as if they were ignored or their best interests were disregarded.
Why should you consider mediation if you are involved in a commercial dispute? Here are six reasons:
1. Parties Control the Outcome
No matter how “winnable” a case might seem, there is always a degree of uncertainty when a matter is decided in court. Mediation removes this uncertainty and puts the disputing parties in control of the outcome. This removes a great deal of risk for everyone involved. If a particular outcome is undesirable by one party or the other, they can enter into negotiations, taking that resolution off the table, but being open to others. In court, there is always the risk that the most undesirable outcome for everyone involved will be exactly what a judge or jury determines is optimal.
2. Customization of the Process with Flexible Options
Disputes differ in so many ways, so the methods used for resolving them should change accordingly. Unfortunately, when a matter is litigated, a one-size-fits-all approach typically is exactly what the parties get. Mediation, however, provides flexibility, both in the process of resolving the dispute and in the resolution itself. That is because mediation allows for thinking “outside the box”: brainstorming; customizing the options for resolution; and, designing an outcome that may be unconventional or completely brand new, but one that is always completely lawful and ethical. In other words: mediation makes for creative solutions! Best of all, the solutions reached are more likely to “stick,” because the individuals and businesses involved in the disputes tailor their mediation agreements to suit their respective needs and interests