Business Mediation and Arbitration Attorneys in Winston-Salem & Greensboro
Alternative dispute resolution for business owners in the Piedmont Triad
Even though we are a law firm, we also understand that not every case must be resolved in court. In business matters, clients may have other paths toward conflict dispute that do not involve litigation, known as alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods. ADR methods like business mediation or arbitration can be less time-consuming and expensive, allowing parties to settle matters outside of the courtroom in a more collaborative matter.
Attorney Tony Hartsoe of Hartsoe & Associates, P.C. is a trained mediator in North Carolina and offers business clients a range of alternative dispute resolution services aimed at settling issues quickly and cost-efficiently – so clients can focus on their business and not on endless litigation. Contact our business law attorneys today.
What kinds of cases are appropriate for alternative dispute resolution?
Although mediation and arbitration are often used for family law matters, ADR also lends itself well to the business world. Because business clients focus less on the personal and more on the professional – meaning the bottom line – the time and expense of courtroom litigation takes time away from running a business. Mediation and arbitration can help clients stay out of the courtroom and remain in the boardroom.
Our attorneys help resolve a wide range of legal issues and disputes through arbitration and mediation:
- Breach of contract
- Business and contract disputes
- Corporate litigation
- Employment disputes
- Partner disputes
- Real estate issues and disputes
- Shareholder disputes
- Vendor disputes
Hartsoe & Associates has over 25 years of experience in helping settle and resolve disputes for both small and large businesses.
What is business mediation?
Many companies’ operating agreements or business contracts contain ADR clauses. These clauses require parties to attempt the mediation process for disputes before moving to binding arbitration or litigation. Mediation is a more informal dispute settlement process, run by a neutral and trained third party called a mediator. A Winston-Salem mediator brings the two parties together in an attempt to identify concerns, work with the parties to find solutions, and reach a mutually favorable outcome for both sides.
Mediation works as follows:
- Mediator gathers all parties in one neutral room and each party presents their issue
- Mediator may have a brief question and answer session to gather more facts about each side’s position and goals
- Parties move to separate rooms and may meet with their attorneys to talk further
- Mediator moves back and forth between parties, asking further questions and assessing their willingness and ability to compromise
- Without taking sides, the mediator can help the parties come to agreement or settlement
Mediation does not take away the right to pursue litigation in the future. If mediation fails, clients have the right to take their dispute to court. However, mediation can save Greensboro clients hundreds of thousands of dollars in unnecessary court battles. Further, when both parties work together for resolution through mediation, both parties tend to comply with the agreement because they created the solution themselves.
What is business arbitration?
Arbitration is governed under two laws in North Carolina – the Federal Arbitration Act and the North Carolina Revised Uniform Arbitration Act. Depending on the circumstances of the dispute, a company may either be required to undergo ADR via arbitration, or may voluntary choose to resolve their dispute through arbitration.
Arbitration is typically a binding process and feels more like a court proceeding than mediation. However, it still a non-litigation alternative and less formal than a courtroom. Additionally, like mediation, it is generally less time-consuming and financially prohibitive.
An arbitrator can be an independent and unaffiliated arbitrator, or the parties can choose an arbitrator from an organization like the American Arbitration Association or JAMS. Each party has the right to bring their own business arbitration attorney to show their case.
Much like a judge, the arbitrator – or in some cases, a panel of arbitrators – hears each party’s side and makes an assessment based on facts and evidence. The arbitrator makes the final decision along with any actions regarding discipline, fees or damages.
Voluntary versus mandatory arbitration in NC
Many business contracts require undergoing arbitration to resolve a dispute before resorting to litigation. This is not uncommon for things like insurance policies and contracts. Voluntary arbitration is when both parties decide to use ADR to settle out of court.
Binding versus non-binding arbitration in NC
Most arbitration is binding, meaning both parties agree to the arbitrator’s decision and the decision cannot be appealed, even if they are unhappy with the outcome. A court cannot overturn an arbitrator’s decision, except in rare cases of fraud or misrepresentation.
In some cases, parties may wish to retain control over the final outcome of arbitration. In non-binding arbitration, either party may appeal the arbitrator’s decision if they disagree with the arbitrator’s decision. In this situation, the case will move to litigation.
How experienced business attorneys can help
Mediation and arbitration are designed to make the dispute resolution process more efficient, as well as open the door to more productive communication. However, for a successful outcome, clients need strategic legal counsel to best represent their interests. Attorneys can present information and handle negotiations on a client’s behalf during the process.
The experienced attorneys at Hartsoe & Associates provide legal guidance on how clients can best achieve their goals through alternative dispute resolution.
Trusted NC business mediation and arbitration lawyers
Mediation and arbitration are two methods of alternative dispute resolution. The attorneys at Hartsoe & Associates, P.C. have dedicated themselves to protecting the business interests of our clients for over 25 years, working for the best possible outcome for each and every one. We represent business owners in Winston-Salem and Greensboro, as well as the Piedmont Triad. To schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney, please call 336-725-1985 or fill out our contact form.