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As the manager, owner or executive for a business, you likely don’t want to waste your time or money litigating the minuscule details of your business contracts. However, when a contract dispute arises with a supplier, business partner or employee, you may feel like the only option you have for resolving it is to go to court.

Exploring alternative dispute resolution options can be a great way to reduce the cost of a contract dispute created for your company and mitigate any potentially negative publicity. There are multiple forms of alternative dispute resolution, with arbitration and mediation being the most common kinds.

Arbitration can be a great option if both parties agree to it

Arbitration was once the gold standard for alternative dispute resolution, but its reputation has gotten tarnished in recent years due to some companies behaving unscrupulously. By mandating the resolution of all conflicts through arbitration, businesses have been able to strong-arm both clients and employees into unreasonable compromises.

That being said, provided that the arbitrator is truly neutral and both parties agree to the process, having a third party make a binding decision regarding how to resolve your dispute can be a lot like going to court, all without adding your business conflict to the public record.

Mediation can give both parties more control over the outcome

Mediation involves both parties in the dispute sitting down to discuss the issue and working to find a compromise. Mediation is only successful when the people experiencing a conflict find a way to resolve their disagreement. Working with a neutral mediator can help you think of creative solutions to your current predicament and facilitate a faster resolution to your current issue.

Instead of immediately pushing for litigation, alternative dispute resolution could be a viable way to handle a contract issue on behalf of your company.