If you own a business, you are likely willing to go to great lengths to protect it. And between the emotional attachment you may have and the investments you have already made in the business, your instincts might tell you to be as aggressive as possible when it comes to pursuing methods of protection.
For instance, if a dispute arises with a vendor, landlord or former employee, you might think that jumping right into litigation is the right decision. However, for a few reasons we examine below, pursuing alternative dispute resolution methods to avoid litigation could actually be in your best interests.
Litigation can be costly
Filing legal motions, covering travel expenses, securing expert witnesses and preparing for a trial all require time and money. These expenses can become considerable over time, and if the payout of being successful in court is not enough to cover the expense of taking the case to trial, it may be wise to consider negotiating a settlement or pursuing arbitration instead.
It can put the company's reputation in danger
Trials put a dispute in the public eye. Details that may have been kept private through arbitration or mediation can easily be released to the public. If you intend to protect your company and its reputation from the scrutiny it would be vulnerable to during a trial, then you may want to avoid litigation.
It can jeopardize morale and company priorities
Lawsuits can have a considerable impact on employees and their morale. When employers and managers are focused on a trial, other priorities can suffer and workers can wind up feeling scared about the future and marginalized. They may also feel uncomfortable telling others where they work or start looking for new jobs if their employer is involved in a messy and public legal battle.
Finding the right method to resolve any business dispute
Of course, litigation can be unavoidable; it can also be the option that you decide is actually in the best interests of your company. Whether you ultimately pursue litigation or another method of dispute resolution, it is critical that you assess your options carefully and make informed decisions. Discussing the situation with an attorney familiar with all types of dispute resolutions, including litigation, can prove to be a wise decision.