Business disputes are common, especially if there are several business owners, partners, or shareholders. The success of a business lies mainly in the hands of the key decision-makers, as any disagreements on a matter can threaten the welfare of a company. When a dispute turns volatile and the future of a business is at stake, legal intervention can provide a fair resolution.

Although your first instinct may be to settle an issue in the courtroom, litigation isn’t always the answer. As a business owner, it is important to ask yourself: do I need to take my case to court? Depending on the severity of the issue at hand, a settlement can be reached in several different ways. Ultimately, there are a few additional questions to ask yourself to determine if litigation is the best option.

Ask Yourself: What is the value of my case?
Some disputes may involve monetary losses. However, if the monetary loss is trivial, it may not be necessary to take your case to court. In addition to the initial dollar value placed on a case, you must consider the cost of litigation and whether the agreements that may be involved allow the transfer of legal fees and costs. If there was no significant damage or injury, the case value may not be great enough to take to court when you consider the cost of litigation. The value of the case is certainly subjective to an extent, but disputes can be settled outside of the courtroom.

Ask Yourself: What other options are available to me?
Understanding your options in a time of company unrest can help alleviate additional stressors. In fact, small businesses especially may benefit from an alternative, more cost-effective solution such as legally-advised negotiation, arbitration or mediation. Independent arbitrators and mediators can negotiate agreements without the costs of litigation and still help you reach a mutually beneficial resolution. A seasoned, trusted attorney acts as an unbiased third party to analyze all sides of a dispute and offers effective negotiation strategies to help you get back to business.

The attorneys at Trevett Cristo understand that trial -- although effective -- may not be the best option for everyone. In fact, a full 80% of our mediation and arbitration cases are settled out of court. Trust our years of expertise to help you determine which legal solution is right for you: if litigation is necessary, our personalized approach ensures that we will do what it takes to achieve the best possible outcome for your business at the lowest cost.