What Are Some Alternatives To Business Law Litigation?
The first step and the easiest step would be negotiations, where the attorney for the business contacts the other party’s counsel to see if there is some type of resolution that can be worked out. Sometimes, if it’s based on some type of contractual agreement, and then you have to look at the contract and see what the procedure is and whether there is any condition of precedence. In other words, are there are any kinds of alternative dispute resolutions that you have to attempt before you can file a suit?
There is also arbitration that the parties can voluntarily enter into. An arbitration is where a third party listens to the evidence and makes a ruling as if a judge were to make a ruling. It can be either binding or non-binding, depending on the agreement of the parties. If it’s some type of contract, typically it will have language in there that discusses whether or not there would be an arbitration. If it says that the parties must arbitrate, then they actually can’t file a suit until there has been an arbitration. If the arbitration is binding, the parties have to live with that decision. If it’s non-binding, the party that loses can file suit and that arbitration issue may or may not be used as evidence in a lawsuit.
Then, there is mediation. Mediation is where you have a third party who doesn’t have decision making authority, but helps both parties to listen to each other more carefully than they did before and listen to the downsides of their own case, in order to bring the parties to a resolution. If they agree, then they sign an agreement and that agreement is binding on both parties. One of the advantages to mediation that most people don’t realize is that typically emotions run high when you are dealing with an issue that is going to be litigated. Good mediators understand this and are able to have individual caucuses, which means they separate the parties.
The mediator can tell a party that the other side has the strength in the case without having to do so in front of the other party. A cool headed mediator may be able to actually obtain a settlement when the parties and their attorney cannot.
Do I Always Need An Attorney To Represent Me In A Business Matter Or Should I Try And Go It Alone?
In the state of Florida, unless you are in small claims court, counsel will be required unless it’s a sole proprietorship. In those cases, I would still always advise that you have counsel represent you for any type of suit that would come up. If you are not an attorney, you are going to have a problem with the judge and you are not going to know how to get important items or exhibits into evidence over objections. You are not going to understand. Most business matters are in circuit court, which is the highest jurisdiction in state level court. When you are dealing with those matters, judges have very little sympathy for persons who are representing themselves and don’t understand how to follow the rules. A business is not going to get very far without having an attorney present.
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