Small businesses, like corporations, occasionally find themselves in conflict with neighboring businesses, employees, customers, vendors, and even with business partners. Unlike corporations, small businesses often don’t have the legal, public relations, and human resources to manage these conflicts. Therefore, when there’s dispute, does a small business mediate or litigate?
What is Mediation?
Mediation involves the use of an independent third person, a mediator, who works with both parties in the dispute to informally negotiate an agreement. Mediation differs from arbitration, where a third person hears the evidence contested between the two sides and acts as judge, rendering a legally binding agreement.
Mediation resolves disputes effectively, eliminating the need for legal action. It’s more cost effective for a small business to reach a resolution through mediation. There’s an efficient, flexible process for resolving a multitude of disputes such as:
Contract performance disputes.
Disputes with neighboring property owners
Mediation, a purely voluntary option, only works if the two parties want to succeed. If the issue remains unresolved, litigation would be the final step instead of the first, more costly choice.
Why Not Begin with Litigation?
Costly litigation takes considerable time and redirects resources normally applied to running the business. There’s an interruption in the “quality of life” for the small business owner, often a member of the local community where the vast majority of conflicts arise. Conflicts undertaken in court usually become a nightmare.
Court decisions culminate with a winner and a loser, typically resulting in long-term damage to personal and business reputations, no matter what the decision. A lawsuit should always be a last resort. That’s the reason you need Don Swift and Associates, offering high-quality, professional mediation services. Don assists you as you weave your way to a solution in an amicable, positive environment.
A Case In Point
An employee claimed payment through a contract, which was contested by the employer. Termination of the employee wasn’t an option to settle the conflict. The employer didn’t wish to lose an excellent employee, and the employee wanted to resolve the issue in a positive environment.
They agreed mediation was the answer, and gave Don Swift a call. As a skilled negotiator and mediator, Don follows a robust and respectful process for resolving disputes.
Listening to the arguments of both parties, Don clarified the intention of the contract. At that point, both sides explained what each believed the contract said. Recognizing the contract didn’t clearly outline the facts as each party understood them, a resolution was reached due to mediation.
Finding a solution in this situation was clearly because both parties wanted it. They agreed and resolved the issue on the basis of their original contract.
In this case, mediation settled the dispute, the employer kept the employee, and the employee continued to work. They experienced the value of mediation. It’s purely a voluntary process allowing the parties to agree on the basis of what each person wants and needs.
Don Swift and Associates
Don Swift uses positive resolution for solving disputes between parties. Don’s thoughtful mediation builds a path to dispute solution with respect to businesses and individuals.
Don’s comments about his role in mediation, “A large focus is allowing the emotional energy to take the parties to a positive resolution. Because a tremendous amount of emotion builds between parties, my approach allows people to express themselves openly. I peel back the layers of the onion and reconstruct the story in a thoughtful and logical way to expose the issues and possible solutions.”
Contact Don Swift and Associates for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation if you need mediation or want to learn more about the process. You and your business will benefit from a positive solution mediated by Don.
Call Don Swift and Associates at 940-228-0550 for leading-edge mediation services in the Wichita Falls, Texas area.