Before the modern age – before history even – business disputes were regularly settled by sword or stick or stone. They were rather violent affairs, tense and often lethal. Later in history, there were increasing attempts made at reasonable negotiation, compromise and understanding before the violence would ultimately erupt (we should give them credit for trying). Later still, with the advent of agriculture and the rise of cities, it was decided that business disputes that turned deadly were counterproductive, especially for the losers. This led to the establishment of institutions designed to mediate the disputes over property, land or money that arise when businesses and people interact in the marketplace. Today, we call the institutions “courts” and the cases they oversee “business litigation.”
What is Business Litigation?
As discussed in a previous post, any type of litigation proceedings come as the result of failed mediation or negotiation. In litigation, the court makes a judgment about the case. There is a winner and a loser. There are no more negotiations and the judgment is binding. Read here for more about negotiation and litigation.
In business litigation, disputes arising in the course of business activities that have failed to come to resolution by either negotiation or mediation go before a court and the judge decides if the claims being made are reasonable and if any actionable damages have been incurred. The judge then makes a judgment against the defendant. This often includes an order to pay damages or compensation to the plaintiff.
Negotiate or litigate?
Business disputes are very common. In fact, they are so common that if the courts were charged with overseeing all of them to resolution and judgement, they would be swamped with cases. Luckily for both the tax payer and the business community, there are alternate dispute resolution methods that are not litigated in court and don’t result in a stern judgment.
The first type of alternate dispute resolution method is simple informal negotiation. This can be done without legal representation. But it is recommended that you receive some legal advice on the specifics of your case before you enter into a negotiation when a dispute arises. The more knowledge you have about your legal position, the better the outcome will be for you.
The second, more involved type of alternate disputes resolution is called mediation. Mediation uses a third party, called the mediator, to help move the negotiations from deadlock or get them going in the first place. The job of a mediator in negotiation is to open and improve dialogue between the parties and lead them through their differences to a settlement that yields the favorable outcome, whether legal, financial or contractual, for each party.
Finally, if all else fails, business disputes go to litigation. Business litigation is not the ideal means by which to resolve a dispute. It is public and can be emotionally and financially taxing. And there is no guarantee that anything will actually come of it. The judge could easily dismiss the case entirely. That is why it is so important to make sure that if your dispute does need to go to court you have competent business litigation attorneys at your side.
Business Litigation with Kalicki Collier
No matter the type of business dispute, the business litigation attorneys at Kalicki Collier can help bring your case to speedy and just resolution. Kalicki Collier stands ready to handle any commercial litigation matter, from breach of contract, to complex matters involving partnership disputes and intellectual property. Contact us today to get the Kalicki Collier team on your side.