Mediation can play a valuable role as an alternative to bitter and protracted business litigation in Oregon and elsewhere. Mediation is less formal than arbitration and does not include an attempt to litigate the issues between the parties. Instead, mediation is a search for common elements of agreement that the parties can use to bring about a potential peaceful resolution of their differences instead of quickly resorting to business litigation. A business will want to include in-house counsel or outside business law attorneys in the process so that all rights are protected and a business solution is formalized without detriment to either party’s legal position.
In modern business relations, it is often counterproductive for a company to enter into an all-out adversary confrontation with another business. The two companies may still have many things in common and many reasons to want to keep doing business together. The pre-litigation resolution of controversies in an amicable manner can sometimes even build a stronger bond between the companies and increase the channels of productive communications between them.
There are some fundamental practices that should guide the company in a mediation attempt. Preparation is vital as it is in litigation itself. Knowing the facts and the details in the transaction or issue is vital to presenting an informed and purposeful discussion of the company’s concerns. Several of the same techniques of discovery and information exchange are helpful in mediation because the parties need to know as much as possible in order to see where a path to settlement may be desirable.
An experienced business law practitioner in Oregon can help a local company to initiate and participate in the mediation process as a first step in trying to settle a dispute. The avoidance of the adversarial approach of business litigation is always a benefit coming from an early and less expensive resolution. In addition, the benefit of keeping the dispute on a communicative level is always a potential positive for the maintenance of good relations and a positive reputation with existing business partners and vendors.