Business owners or managers entangled in disputes are often told that arbitration or mediation is the best method for resolving the matter. The reasons listed include the supposed high cost of litigating, waiting for a court date, and dealing with the distraction of going to court. Some worry about losing the case or burning bridges with the other party.
These are valid points, but litigating still offers many undeniable benefits. In some cases, you may have no choice but to go to trial to protect your interests. Possible benefits of going to court include:
· Closure: The two sides can argue back and forth endlessly on this or that point, but they never seem to get closer to resolving the matter. The litigation comes with a judge’s or jury’s ruling at the end of it.
· Forced engaging: The endless back and forth or one side outright ignoring the dispute can be frustrating, but litigation forces the parties to address the matter, regardless of whether one side doesn’t want to be there.
· Precedent: Businesses that show they are willing to go to court to protect their interests set a precedent, which may curtail future disputes. A court decision also settles a matter if similar disputes arise in the future.
· Cost: Preparing for trial is expensive, but the legal bills will also mount if the matter drags out with no sign of closure.
· Public record: The other party may not be happy to have the dispute tried in a public courtroom, which can mean additional damage to their reputation.
· Appeals: Arbitration can be binding, but litigation offers parties the chance to appeal if they feel like the judge or jury did not consider all the relevant facts or law in the case.
It’s best to discuss options with an experienced trial attorney
Not all attorneys feel comfortable litigating, and it’s important to know if your legal team has handled similar cases at trial in the past. Speaking to a seasoned litigator is often the best course to take to determine when litigation offers you the chance at obtaining the results you need in your case.