How Can My Arizona Business Avoid Lawsuits

In this economy, few Arizona businesses can afford the high cost of litigation.  It is generally quite expensive to hire attorney in Phoenix.  Further, a lost lawsuit can result in a big judgment against a business.  The person or entity that sued your company can take steps to collect that judgment.  Litigation also taxes your business’s time and resources.  For example, you will need employees to pull and copy document demanded by the other party.  Employees may also have to sit for depositions or testify at trial.  Litigation can also have another adverse impact as, if your company is found to be at fault for some wrong-doing, the business’s reputation could suffer.  As a result, you could lose business.

But, what is the answer?  Disputes in business will happen.  Another company may not honor a contract.  An employee may feel harassed.  Someone could claim an injury on your property.

One option is to mediate instead of litigate.  Mediation is a method to resolve conflict that is used all over the world.  With mediation, parties in dispute meet with a neutral third party trained in conflict resolution (a mediator) to try to resolve the dispute out of Court.  With mediation, the parties choose the outcome of the dispute – no Court or other third party decides the outcome. Mediation can take place either before or after a lawsuit is initiated.  Most mediations are successful.  Some place the success rate of mediation at around 85 percent.  The result of a successful mediation is a binding agreement that resolves the conflict and, in some cases, even restores damaged relationships.

Companies like mediation because is it a lot less expensive and disruptive than litigation.  Mediation can be completed in one day, whereas litigation can take years.  You can have attorneys at mediation, but you do not need to.  Even if you use attorneys, the attorney bills will be significantly lower because mediation is so much less time consuming.

Further, mediation is confidential, so reputations remain intact and settlements are kept private unless the parties jointly choose to reveal that information.  Choosing mediation allows companies to operate from a position of strength and keep their valuable resources intact.

If your business has a conflict, consider suggesting to the other party to sit down with a mutually agreeable mediator before suffering the damage of litigation.

Alona M. Gottfried is a mediator and attorney in Arizona.  If you have questions about mediation, she can be reached at: 480-998-1500.  This is a general interest article only and is not intended to be legal advice.  See a legal professional before making legal decisions.

Simmons & Gottfried, PLLC
a Professional Limited Liability Company
8160 E. Butherus Dr., Suite #7
Scottsdale, AZ 85260

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