Business disputes can have a major impact on your professional life, and in some cases, they can steer the future path of your business. While they can be stressful, they may be necessary for growth in various instances. You understandably have a lot at stake when you are dealing with a professional dispute with a partner, a colleague, a client or another business contact. Hiring a commercial litigation lawyer to assist you through this experience is essential, and these are some of the beneficial steps that an attorney can take to serve your needs when a dispute arises.
The first step that a commercial litigation lawyer may take is to attempt negotiations. Lawyers who specialize in this area of the law are skilled negotiators, and they often have considerable experience from previous negotiations that they can draw from to hopefully reach an amicable solution. Many disputes are settled through negotiation without having to escalate the matter further. These may negotiations that are facilitated by your attorney, or they may be completed by you based on legal guidance from your attorney.
Mediation is similar to negotiations, but it involves an independent and unbiased third party as well. The third party serves as an arbitrator and may be professionally tried to assist with dispute settlement. Both parties may need to agree beforehand to accept the outcome of mediation. Your business attorney may be present for the mediation appointment to ensure that your rights are represented and protected.
3. A Revised Contract or Agreement
Another way to handle a dispute is for the lawyers of the two parties to adjust a standing contract or agreement so that the terms are more agreeable to both parties. This is only an option when both parties are open to renegotiating terms. If one party wants to enforce the terms of a standing agreement or contract, then the matter may need to escalate into a lawsuit.
4. A Lawsuit
A lawsuit may be the only solution available if the previous three steps are not possible or are not successful. Taking a matter to court can be expensive, stressful and time-consuming. In addition, the judge is the ultimate decision-maker, and this means that neither party can control the outcome of a lawsuit once it reaches the courtroom.
It would be ideal to resolve a dispute amicably without involving lawyers, but there are many instances when the skills and expertise of a business litigation lawyer are beneficial and even essential. You understandably have a lot at stake with your current dispute. This may include money, business reputation, inventory, opportunities for growth and more. At the first sign of a dispute brewing, it makes sense to consult with a lawyer and explore your legal options.