You built your business in Little Rock from the ground up and have seen a good deal of success along the way. However, there are always roadblocks that come up in the course of doing business, including contract disputes. As a small business owner, you likely do not want to spend your valuable time and money litigating every dispute that comes your way. So, you may be interested in learning more about alternative dispute resolution options, including mediation.
What is mediation?
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that can help keep your dispute out of court. The goal of mediation is for both parties to reach an agreement on their dispute that they are satisfied with. A court can then approve the settlement, making it binding.
Mediation is overseen by a third-party mediator. The mediator serves to facilitate negotiations and is not a decision-maker. Ultimately, through mediation you and the other party to the dispute will discuss your disagreements with the help of the mediator until a resolution is reached that you are both satisfied with. You can be represented by an attorney during mediation if you wish.
The process of mediation
Mediation generally starts with a joint session. In the joint session, the mediator will be informed of the circumstances surrounding the dispute and each party’s opposing views. The mediator will also be made aware of what result each side of the dispute wants to work towards. The mediator will ask any pertinent questions to better understand the conflict between the parties.
After the joint session, mediation will then move to caucuses. In a caucus, the mediator meets with each side alone. Discussions in caucuses are kept confidential. The mediator will move back and forth between the parties, giving suggestions with the goal of developing a settlement that is satisfactory to both parties.
After you reach a resolution
If the caucuses are a success and a settlement is reached, the parties can take the settlement to court to be approved and made legally binding. Mediation is a good way for parties to a contract dispute in Arkansas to save precious time and money that can be funneled back into their small business. Moreover, mediation can allow both parties to leave the negotiation table satisfied because they had a say in the outcome of their dispute.