Resolving Business Disputes Outside Of Court
Most business owners are eager to avoid the distraction, risk and expense of litigation. Increasingly, those stakeholders turn to alternative dispute resolution (ADR). My law firm provides both mediation services and representation in arbitration proceedings to resolve conflicts out of court in a more timely, predictable and cost-efficient manner.
Patricia M. Davis, Attorney at Law has served countless business owners in the Houston area and beyond. I am a certified mediator who draws on 35-plus years of experience in business law, including courtroom litigation.
Houston Attorney Certified In Mediation
Many business-related conflicts may be initially 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 preferable to the downsides of litigation
When negotiations are not successful, mediation can be effective in resolving disputes outside of court. In mediation, the parties involved come together with a trained third-party mediator to work out an agreement or settlement. The 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 contract disputes, shareholder and partnership disputes, conflicts in entertainment law, and business insurance claims. I have a great deal of experience as a neutral mediator in business disputes and have assisted many business owners and other parties in resolving serious disputes through this method.
Read more about my mediator services.
Arbitration May Be Required Or Worth Pursuing
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 on 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 might 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 or 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 can review your existing contracts and agreements 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.
Explore Alternative Dispute Resolution
I am committed to protecting the rights of my business clients in all forms of dispute resolution, including both mediation and arbitration. 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.
If you are seeking mediation services, or are preparing for arbitration, my firm can assist you. Call my Houston office today at 713-936-9553 to arrange a consultation or reach out by email.