Sometimes, despite our best efforts, a business dispute arises that cannot be solved through friendly negotiation. When these problems arise, business litigation serve as an effective way to remedy the situation.
Whether you are a private individual or a business disputing a legal issue with another entity, a good business litigation attorney can be invaluable in protecting your rights and your company’s business interests.
At Ourednik Law Offices, we have the business litigation experience necessary to protect your interests. Sometimes, the threat of business litigation can jeopardize both your business plan and your estate plan.
This may occur with a family limited partnership or LLC. When this happens, you need an attorney who is experienced in both business litigation and asset protection.
Look to Ourednik Law Offices to protect you and your family. Contact a legal professional at Ourednik Law Offices today!
What should I do if my business
is involved in a court proceeding?
In the event your business becomes involved in litigation, knowledge of courtroom procedure is essential. Courtroom procedure can be complicated, and knowing what to expect can enable a business to prepare effectively. Depending on the circumstances, either state or federal law may govern the procedural issues and there may be notable procedural differences between the two. If you are faced with litigation involving a business transaction or any aspect of your business, a knowledgeable business litigation attorney should be retained to provide assistance and counsel regarding proper procedure specific to your jurisdiction and venue.
Beyond procedural matters, your business litigation attorney should also help to formulate possible legal options for your situation. This usually means researching the relevant law to determine the best legal strategy for your circumstances and then applying that strategy to reach a favorable outcome.
Are there any options for settling a
business dispute besides litigation?
When considering litigation, a business owner should be aware the other options available. In addition to the courtroom, there are alternative forums that may be appropriate, depending on the circumstances.
Often, the first legal step taken by a business owner seeking to settle a dispute is that of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Through the use of ADR, the parties may avoid the expenses and complications commonly associated with the court process. The two most frequently used forms of ADR are mediation and arbitration.
Mediation is one alternative to resolving civil disputes outside of the traditional litigation process. The mediation process is less formal than arbitration proceedings or trials. Thus, the process of mediation is attractive to businesses because they can avoid the courtroom and are able to discuss issues without the procedural constraints of litigation. Additionally, most mediation sessions do not last longer than a day and the cost is typically limited to any charges associated with obtaining the mediator’s services.
A mediation is facilitated by a neutral mediator who guides the dialogue between the parties. The process begins with opening statements and progresses through discussions and private caucuses. At the end of the proceeding, joint negotiations take place, with the mediator offering their opinion on the best way to resolve the issues. The opinion of the mediator is not legally binding.
Occasionally, business contracts will have provisions that require the use of mediation to attempt to resolve any legal issues that arise from the agreement, before other forms of dispute resolution are pursued. Also, it is not uncommon for a court to order mediation as an initial step in the litigation process, in the hopes that the parties will successfully resolve their differences without having to resort to further legal measures.
Arbitration is a second form of alternative dispute resolution that employs a neutral third party (an arbitrator) or a panel of arbitrators to listen to both parties and render a decision, which may or may not be binding, depending on the circumstances. The arbitrator acts in a capacity similar to that of a judge and there are rules to the arbitration process which are similar to those established in courtroom procedure.
As noted above, arbitration can be either binding or nonbinding. Binding arbitration means that the result has the same legal effect as a court judgment, it is final and legally binding. Nonbinding arbitration means that the results are merely advisory opinions that might aid in the settlement negotiation process. After nonbinding arbitration, each party may still choose to pursue their action in court.
When two parties enter into a contract, there will often be an arbitration provision requiring that any legal issues arising from the agreement will be resolved in a binding arbitration proceeding rather than litigated in court. These arbitration agreements commonly appear in a variety of contracts, including sales contracts and employment contracts. Courts will generally give deference to these provisions, thus rendering binding arbitration as the only form of dispute resolution between the parties. Once the arbitrator makes a decision, the parties usually cannot appeal to a higher judicial body. On some occasions, an appeals process may take place if the parties have agreed to it in the initial arbitration agreement. However, the lack of an appeals process is generally seen as an attractive aspect of binding arbitration.
As the costs and time commitments required for resolving business disputes continue to rise, the process of ADR continues to become more attractive for many companies. Through the use of mediation and arbitration agreements, a business can require that issues arising out of a contractual relationship be resolved by an ADR method. The retention of a business law attorney at the inception of any business arrangement can help to ensure that the proper provisions are in place to make ADR a requirement in the event of a future dispute.
If you are involved in a dispute regarding a business transaction or any aspect of your business, it is best to consult an experienced business litigation attorney who can help to address your particular situation. Contact Ourednik Law Offices to see how our attorneys can help resolve your business dispute utilizing the methods described above.