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Mediation as an option for resolving business disputes

Owning and operating an Arizona business means having to be ready to handle conflict. Though you may enjoy your job the majority of the time and have found ways to handle more common issues that arise, you may still end up in difficult predicaments in which resolutions are not so easily found.

Before it seems like a lawsuit is right around the corner and that courtroom litigation will result in your company's affairs becoming public knowledge, you may want to consider mediation. This alternative dispute resolution method could allow you and the other party involved in the business dispute to come to agreeable outcomes without litigation.

What does mediation entail?

When working to resolve an issue through mediation, you and the other party -- along with your legal counsel -- will work with a third-party mediator. This person has no stake in the dispute or in the outcome of the case. His or her purpose is to keep discussions and negotiations moving forward in efforts to quickly resolve the conflict. When the mediation begins, all parties will go through an introduction, and the mediator will explain the process and the rules for the proceedings.

Each side provides statements about the situation so everyone hears the different perspectives. The mediator may ask questions to gain a clearer picture of each party's account. Each side will then likely break off into caucuses. You and your legal counsel and the other parties involved will go to separate rooms to discuss your goals and desired outcomes. The mediator will go between each group to exchange information and will then try to find points of agreement and propose a final agreement that could be acceptable to both sides.

Is mediation effective?

If all parties involved are willing to put forth their best efforts to make mediation work, it provides an effective process that avoids substantial conflict. Of course, some negotiations can come to a standstill, and if the parties cannot reach an agreement through mediation, further legal action may be necessary.

If you are interested in resolving a business-related dispute through mediation, you may want to gain more information on this alternative dispute resolution method. Discussing your interest with an Arizona attorney could ensure that you obtain reliable information about how this route could suit your needs.

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