When a large company in Orange County is facing a business dispute, such as intellectual property litigation, tax disputes or accusations of fraud they may want to try to avoid a full trial. The trial process can be lengthy and expensive, and large companies may feel they can put their resources to better purposes. These companies may be interested in the litigation alternatives of mediation and arbitration.
What is mediation?
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that offers business more flexibility in resolving their legal issues. A third-party mediator oversees the mediation process and facilitates discussions between both parties. Mediators are not decision-makers. Instead, they help the opposing parties come to a resolution that is acceptable to both. The parties can be represented by an attorney during the mediation process. Decisions made during mediation are not binding and statements made during mediation cannot be used against a party should the issue go to trial.
What is arbitration?
Arbitration is another form of alternative dispute resolution. It is more formal than mediation but less formal than a trial. A third-party arbitrator or a panel of arbitrators oversees the arbitration process. Unlike mediation, the arbitrator’s decision is final and binding. The parties will present their arguments to the arbitrator(s). They can also call people to testify and present documentary evidence. Like mediation, the parties can be represented by an attorney during the arbitration process.
Sometimes it is in the best interest of a business to resolve a dispute out-of-court. Mediation and arbitration are two types of alternative dispute resolution processes that may be worth considering. However, sometimes an issue is so significant or complicated that litigation is the right choice. Ultimately, business owners will want to consider what is in the best interest of their enterprise before proceeding.