In some cases (many of which can be resolved with alternative dispute resolution), a legal dispute may erupt in a flash, whether due to an act of negligence, accident, or other incident that pits two or more parties against each other. Other times, legal action may be the culmination of a relationship that has been going south for quite some time; for example, if you are a business owner, you may have issues with a vendor who has been supplying building sites with materials for years if you are a contractor—or perhaps food inventory if you own a restaurant. A business partner whom you founded your company with decades ago may have become resentful over certain issues, or desire complete dissolution of their part in the company. There could be disputes with employees, breach of contract issues with those working full-time or as independent contractors, or issues that arise with other businesses—and perhaps those that are owned by industry peers.
Led by a neutral mediator (often trained in an area relevant to your dispute) who guides the disputing parties in reaching an agreement and/or settlement, the mediation process allows the disputing parties to have an open discussion without the adversarial atmosphere so common to the courtroom. Mediation is also much more conducive to saving relationships that one party or the other may not want to see disappear. That could be due to personal relationships or an ongoing profitable relationship. This type of alternative dispute resolution should work well if you seek a more voluntary and relaxed atmosphere that is also conducted behind closed doors and kept confidential. Although mediation requires time and patience, and commitment to the process of reaching resolution, it is usually exponentially faster than litigation.
If you think a jury trial would be better for the type of legal dispute you are engaged in, however, mediation is not the way to go as juries are not allowed. Discovery and presenting of any evidence are limited, and no court transcription is performed during the process. If you want someone else to decide the case, mediation is not the best option either as this type of alternative dispute resolution means that you and the other parties are put together to reach a resolution with the guidance of the mediator, who is also not there to represent either party or give anyone involved legal advice.
The Bolender Law Firm will advocate on behalf of clients through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!