How To Resolve A Contract Dispute
Contracts are central to many businesses. You may have contracts with your employees, suppliers, contractors, and even the entity you lease your business space from. Unfortunately, even with the strongest contract in place, a dispute can still arise, and that is very bad for business. In fact, contract disputes are some of the most common types of legal issues businesses face. If you are currently involved in a dispute, our Knoxville business and commercial law attorney outlines four ways to resolve it below.
Sometimes, it is possible for you and the other party to resolve a contract dispute on your own. This can be done through negotiation, which often requires the use of an attorney. Through effective negotiation, you and the other party can change the terms of the contract and create a new one, or enforce the agreement if one party can agree to hold up their terms of the contract. Negotiation is often the cheapest and fastest way to resolve contract disputes, so it is best to try this method first.
If you and the other party cannot reach an agreement on your own, mediation is the next best option. During mediation you and the other party will meet with a neutral third party mediator. The role of the mediator is to try and foster communication and compromise so both parties can reach an agreement that is satisfactory for everyone involved. Mediators do not offer legal advice or make any final decisions. They are there to simply try and help the parties involved in a dispute negotiate a resolution.
Arbitration is not as flexible as mediation. In fact, it largely resembles litigation. During arbitration, you and the other party involved will meet with an arbitrator in a neutral location. Unlike mediators, arbitrators do make final decisions. Those decisions are legally binding, and there is no opportunity for appeal. The arbitrator’s decision is made after they have heard from both sides, either through documents or in person.
Litigation should always be the last resort for business owners. During litigation, you and the other party will have to appear in court and make your arguments to a judge. After hearing from both sides, the judge will make a decision and issue a court order, which is also legally binding. Litigation is the costliest and most time-consuming way to resolve a contract dispute, so it is not recommended as a first choice. Still, there are times when the only way to hold the other party accountable and obtain the fair result you deserve is to take the other party to court.
Our Business and Commercial Law Attorney in Knoxville Can Help with Your Dispute
If you are involved in a contract dispute, our Knoxville business and commercial law attorney can help you make things right. At Atkins Brezina, PLLC , our skilled attorney has the knowledge and expertise to help you make the best decision possible. Call us now at 865-500-3121 or connect with us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about your legal options.