Many people in California think that taking legal action necessarily means dragging the issues before a judge, going through lengthy depositions, undertaking a time-consuming discovery process that can take months, and hiring expert witnesses to testify on an issue before the court. As an alternative to litigation, people dealing with contract disputes should consider mediation.
Mediation is becoming the preferred method for dealing with contract disputes in construction cases. Litigation is often very expensive, and can divert time, energy and resources from growing your business. The success of mediation, however, depends on each party's willingness to work amicably through the process.
Much of the expense and time of mediation is tied up in fact-finding. Parties may be opposed to disclosing sensitive information to the opposing party, and for good reason. However, it can be mutually beneficial, especially if both parties are willing to trust each other enough to disclose information for the sole purpose of reaching an agreement and avoiding litigation.
One of the best things about mediation is that it can be kept entirely confidential, and so an agreement between the parties to keep everything that comes out during mediation under wraps can go a long way. Information is key, but it can also be the key to reaching a solution. By working with the other side to reach an agreement to disclose information that is necessary to the mediation without compromising their position or future business, both parties can save time and money. An attorney with experience resolving contract disputes can help business owners protect their information while simultaneously working through the mediation process and reaching a solution.
Source: The Legal Intelligencer, "10 Ideas for Avoiding Information Blockage in Mediation," Harrie Samaras and Judy Weintraub, Nov. 3, 2014