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Dispute resolution for a contract conflict: What are my options?

It is not uncommon for parties to a business contract to have a disagreement. The parties to the contract may seek a form of dispute resolution to resolve their conflict.

Dispute resolution is a legal term that refers to the various processes used to resolve a conflict. There are many different ways for disagreeing parties to come to a resolution. Some common examples include:

 

  • Litigation. Arguably the most well-known form of dispute resolution, traditional litigation involves both parties taking the conflict to court where a judge and, in some cases, a jury hear both sides of the dispute and provide a binding resolution.
  • Arbitration. This process essentially allows the parties to choose a neutral, third party to review the evidence and provide a decision. The parties can elect to have the arbitration process result in a binding or nonbinding agreement. A binding agreement can be enforced by the court, while a non-binding results in a decision that is in the advisory capacity.
  • Mediation. This form of dispute resolution involves a neutral third person who guides the negations. This is distinct from arbitration, as the third party does not develop the final agreement — the parties themselves put together the agreement.

These are only a few of the more common forms of dispute resolution. Additional options can include collaborative law, negotiations, settlement conferences and a summary jury trial. Finding the best option to resolve a dispute will depend on the details of each case. An attorney with experience in business law can review your dispute and discuss the benefits and risks of each option.

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