Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that allows parties to handle disagreements outside of court. Whether a lawsuit has already been filed or is merely threatened, business mediation can defuse the situation. The goal of mediation is to save time, money, and stress by avoiding protracted litigation.
Successful mediation can also allow the parties, rather than a judge, to determine their own outcome.
Our New York business law attorneys represent clients in mediation. We help our clients understand exactly how the process works and what to expect. Here, we offer a few tips on getting the most out of business mediation.
Tip 1: Understand the Basics of Business Mediation
Mediation is an out-of-court procedure in which parties discuss their disputes with the guidance of a mediator. A business mediator is neutral and cannot decide the outcome of a case like a judge can. Rather, the mediator’s goal is to facilitate productive discussions so the parties can resolve their issues on their own terms.
Discussions and offers to settle are protected by confidentiality in case mediation fails and a trial is necessary. A New York business lawyer can explain more about this powerful option for handling your case.
Tip 2: Don’t Focus on Winning, Focus on Resolution
Litigation is about winners and losers. Mediation is more about compromise. The goal is to avoid litigation and save time, money, and stress. While participating in business mediation, it’s important to understand that all parties to a lawsuit want something.
To make this happen, everyone must be prepared to give a little. If your goal is to get 100% of what you want, mediation won’t be as fruitful. But mediation will generally prove advantageous compared to a trial. Your New York business attorney can discuss the advantages of settling versus continued litigation.
Tip 3: Be Respectful
Maintaining a respectful attitude isn’t just essential to making mediation a success. Hopefully, you will be able to salvage your business relationship with the other party or parties. This is why mediation is often used to resolve disputes that haven’t yet triggered the filing of a lawsuit.
If you are respectful during mediation, you’re more likely to be able to continue doing business with the other parties. Regardless, a respectful attitude will get you much farther than being combative.
Tip 4: Stay Focused on the Facts
Approach mediation as you do any other business matter: focused on facts, not emotions. You may feel a wide range of emotions when dealing with the other party, from frustration to anger. But if you allow these feelings to control you, mediation will not go well.
Look at the facts, along with your New York business lawyer, and concentrate on obtaining an effective solution. This will make the process go much more smoothly.
Tip 5: Don’t Be Impatient
Your business mediation could last for a relatively short amount of time or several hours. It may be completed in one session or it may take a few. The best mediation solutions are the products of deliberate, careful negotiation and strategy.
Rushing a decision just to get done won’t help anyone, least of all your business. Let your New York business lawyer assist you. And feel free to regularly ask questions to clarify your rights or proposed solutions to the dispute. With patience, mediation can pay off.
Our Final Tip: Retain Experienced Legal Counsel
Last but not least, you need a dedicated business law firm by your side during mediation. That’s where Rosenbaum & Taylor’s experienced team comes in. During mediation, we help clients understand how a settlement may affect their rights and interests. But we also help them weigh the benefits of a negotiated settlement against the potential risks of a trial.
To learn more about business mediation and how we can serve your organization, give us a call today.