Many small businesses have to deal with a dispute at some point. When this happens, they have several different options for resolving them in Texas. Here are the most common ways that small businesses get disputes resolved.
It is not uncommon for some individuals to want to try to work out their issues among themselves. If they are unable to do so, they often can do so through mediation. In mediation, a neutral third-party (the mediator) works with the parties to help them come up with a resolution of the dispute. If the parties resolve the dispute through mediation, an agreement is signed confirming the resolution. If the mediation does not result in a resolution, the parties may pursue a resolution through arbitration or civil litigation (see below). Mediation is private.
For those dealing with small business disputes that they are not able to settle through meditation, they may choose to have an arbitrator settle the disputes for them. The arbitrator will listen to both sides of the case, and will make a decision based on all of the relevant information provided to the arbitrator. Some contracts contain arbitration provisions – that is, a provision that requires the parties to take disputes to arbitration. A resolution in arbitration is binding on the parties. Arbitration is private.
In some instances, both parties will decide to face off against each other in court through civil litigation. The plaintiff and defendant will have the opportunity to present evidence and state any facts related to the dispute. A judge will use this information to determine how the dispute gets resolved. The ruling the judge gives is final (although it can be appealed). Civil litigation is public (that is, the public is able to see the records filed with the court).
Small business disputes can arise in many ways – between one owner and another, or between the business and an employee, the business and a customer, or the business and a vendor, etc. When a dispute arises, it is often best to try to work out a resolution among yourself. If you are not able to do this, you may want to seek the assistance of a lawyer. They could help you determine whether or not it is in your best interest to have your dispute handled through arbitration or civil litigation.