Businesses in the Shenandoah Valley will from to time get into disputes with other businesses and individuals, including customers, competitors and vendors or suppliers.
There is also always a possibility of civil litigation within a business, such as, for example, between an employee and management or even between different business owners.
Virginia businesses will often have a lot at stake in these legal matters and want to protect their interests.
On the other hand, a savvy management team will recognize that litigation costs a lot of money. It also is a drain on the time and emotional capital of the business’s personnel.
Moreover, all litigation has some uncertainty to it just because ultimately a human judge or jury, and not the business, will decide the result of the dispute. A business may not like the outcome of the decision.
There are also some legal disputes which a business would not want aired out in a public court proceeding.
These are all reasons why many businesses might choose to use mediation as a way of resolving a legal issue.
Mediation offers a confidential process which gives a business some control
In mediation, the parties will agree, or a court may appoint, a mediator or a panel of mediators to help them negotiate an agreement that will resolve their legal issue without going to court.
Usually, the mediator is an attorney, a retired judge or someone else who understands the relevant law. A mediator may also have some expertise in the subject area that is at issue. For example, mediators of construction disputes may have an engineering background.
The process is somewhat flexible and can be tailored to the needs of the parties. However, mediations are strictly confidential and fully voluntary.
As long as they try in good faith to negotiate, either side may at any time prior to signing an agreement withdraw from the process and go to trial.
Because it is also confidential, both sides are able to talk freely about the strengths and weaknesses of their respective cases. If they do reach an agreement, that deal can stay largely out of the public eye.