Small Business Solutions: Small Claims Arbitration Programs

Talk to an experienced business attorney about filing a lawsuit for a dispute that ranges in the $15,000-$30,000 range, and you may be surprised by the advice you get on whether to file:  Don’t Bother.

The rub with many lawsuits in this price range and even a little higher dollar value is that the costs and time associated with getting a favorable judgement on such a claim, even on a case that has little risk of loss, result in a wash.  What you spend in time, business disruption, and legal fees will meet or exceed the value of the case.  So, why bother.  Chock the dispute up to a business loss and a business expense.   

But is that the reality?  The only option?

In actuality, many small businesses are taking deliberate steps to include mandatory mediation and/or arbitration clauses into their business contracts.  Why?  Resolving disputes quickly (or faster than a court can or will) is important.  These clauses recognize that time is money.

One Mediation offers flat-rates for simple arbitrations, a feat that is a great answer to small-claims courts. For business disputes that have a potential damages value of $15,000 to $60,000, this flat rate arbitration model works well to get a decision – through binding-arbitration – that will help the parties move forward without both becoming mired needlessly (though there are instances where litigation is necessary) in a battle of wills, just as much as a battle of legal positions.  Contact One Mediation for more information about this flat-rate model for arbitration and to see if your matter(s) may qualify for this program.

Another model that smaller-business disputes can access is “Med-Arb,” a hybrid of the mediation and arbitration processes, to resolve matters quickly.  In this process, disputing parties first attempt to mediate the dispute, whereby they create their own solution and certainly avoid any impact to their credit that a public judgment might do.  If mediation fails, the dispute automatically moves into arbitration where a decision is guaranteed at the end of the day.  

Pro-active businesses can capture the benefits of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes – mediation, arbitration, and med-arb, among others – with a little planning and the simple inclusion of ADR clauses in their contracts or offering these processes as part of negotiations.  Contact One Mediation for more information on these processes at 404-720-0599.

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One Response to Small Business Solutions: Small Claims Arbitration Programs

  1. Pingback: Small Business Solutions: Small Claims Arbitration Programs « One … | The Arbitration Blog

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