Business dealings might involve signing a contract that locks the various parties into an agreement. An employee may sign a deal for a specific salary, or the business could sign an agreement with a product supplier. All parties must follow the terms of their contract or possibly find themselves facing a breach of contract lawsuit in a courtroom. Litigation might be avoided by resolving any contract disputes amicably.
Dealing with contract disputes
A sudden, unexpected breach could happen, but some breaches happen after the various parties realize their arrangement faces disagreements. To avoid costly litigation and a trial, the parties to the contract might negotiate an amicable resolution by themselves, or through mediation.
In mediation, a third-party mediator remains neutral and attempts to bring the parties to a mutual agreement. If the parties themselves negotiate an amicable resolution, or do so with the help of a mediator, the resolution should be written down and signed by all parties. Care should be taken to clearly set out all of the terms of the resolution. If not, the parties may find themselves again in a dispute – this time over a breach of the settlement agreement.
Those interested in a process that leads to a binding decision made by a third-party could engage in arbitration. In arbitration, the dispute is presented to an independent arbitrator who will review the evidence (testimony and exhibits) and make a decision by which the parties are bound. If a party fails to comply with the arbitrator’s decision, the other party can request a court to enforce the decision in the same manner as it would enforce a judgment..
The litigation process
With certain contract disputes, litigation might unavoidable. If there is no other way to resolve the dispute, a civil lawsuit might be necessary. In that case, a judge or a jury will consider the evidence (testimony and exhibits) and the arguments of the parties or their attorneys, and make a determination. Multiple rules of procedure and rules of evidence govern the litigation process, so it is prudent to retain an attorney to represent you.
An experienced attorney can help you evaluate the dispute and decide the best way of addressing it – negotiated settlement with or without mediation, arbitration, or a civil lawsuit. And the attorney can help you through whichever process is best for you.