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Alternative Dispute Resolution in Houston, TX

Resolving Business Disputes Outside of Court

There are a variety of methods to resolve business disputes that allow owners or other stakeholders to avoid litigation. The two most common forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) are arbitration and mediation. As a business law attorney, I have served countless business owners in the Houston area to resolve business disputes through alternative dispute resolution, as well as representing business clients in court. I have more than 30 years of experience in business law, and my firm, Patricia M. Davis, Attorney at Law, represents business owners and others in both mediation and arbitration.

Negotiation, Mediation and Arbitration

Initially, disputes, such as contract disputes, shareholder disputes, partnership disputes or other business-related issues may be resolved through negotiation. When this is not successful, moving forward to other ADR methods is often either required under the terms of the contract, or chosen as a method to avoid the costs of litigation. Mediation as an initial type of alternative dispute resolution can be effective in resolving disputes outside of court. This form of ADR is less formal than arbitration. In mediation, the parties involved come together with a trained mediator to work out an agreement or settlement. This success of this process can in large part be based upon the skills of the mediator, as the two parties are frequently a great distance apart in how they view the dispute and how it should be resolved.

Mediation as an ADR technique can be implemented for a wide range of disputes, including corporate or partnership disputes, contract disputes, entertainment law matters, for insurance claims, shareholder disputes and others. I have a great deal of experience as a mediator, and have assisted many business owners and others to resolve serious disputes through this ADR method. Arbitration is a more formal type of alternative dispute resolution. In arbitration, the matter is taken up almost like a "mini-trial." There is a certain amount of discovery, similar to preparing for a trial, with simplified rules of evidence. Arbitration can last for several days, sometimes longer, based upon the complexity of the specific issues in the case.

The process of arbitration usually involves a panel in which each party in the dispute will either agree upon one arbitrator, or in other cases, each selects their own, and a third is chosen by the arbitrators themselves, or the court may appoint an arbitrator. Texas state law regarding arbitration, the Texas General Arbitration Act (TGAA) outlines the rules related to awards in arbitrations, the right to appeal an award and other important facts that could impact your specific case. Arbitration can be a complex issue, as the parties involved could be located in different states with different laws and case law that could impact your case. The Federal Arbitration Act, can preempt state laws that are in conflict. Obviously, it is necessary to have an arbitrator that has a great depth of understanding of both Texas and Federal law, so that the matter is resolved with a better chance of avoiding an appeal if it is favorable to you and your business.

A written provision for an arbitration agreement in a contract our agreement is a requirement in pursuing this form of alternative dispute resolution. The decisions at the arbitration are considered legally valid, irrevocable and enforceable. The first step is to determine if the dispute your business is involved in is within the scope of the agreement you have with the other party. I should review your existing contracts and agreements to assist you to determine if you have the right to compel arbitration. This decision will be based upon evidence that is sufficient to establish this right, and I am very familiar with all of the matters necessary to get this form of ADR moving forward.

Speak with Patricia M. Davis, Attorney at Law Today

I am committed to protecting the rights of my business clients in all forms of dispute resolution, including both mediation and arbitration, as well as at trial if necessary. I can also assist you in pursuing a vacation of an award in an appeal in cases in which the statutes or common law has not been correctly adhered to in the initial decision. Arbitrators must be impartial, and should it become clear that there was "evident partiality" to one side, this could be grounds to vacate an arbitration award.

Whether you are seeking mediation services, or are preparing for arbitration, my firm can assist you. Call my firm today for more information.

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Patricia M. Davis, Attorney at Law - Houston Business Law Attorney
Located at 3334 Richmond Avenue, Suite 206 Houston, TX 77098. View Map
Phone: (713) 489-7784 | Local Phone: (713) 621-2552.
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