Dottore Companies, LLC
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Business Mediation Services

If you’re dealing with an ongoing business dispute and would like to work towards a resolution, you’ll want to know what options are available to you. Many business owners prefer mediation but could have questions about what is entailed. We aim to answer common queries below. For more detailed information or personalized advice, feel free to contact Dottore Companies’ business mediation team–we’re ready to help.

What is Business Mediation?

Business mediation is an informal process focused on resolving misunderstandings between business partners, owners, personnel, vendors, and other business-adjacent parties. This method is meant to reduce conflict via a trained, neutral third party–the mediator or mediation company–who manages the discussions and facilitates agreement. Topics that could bring two business parties to the point of needing mediation could include bankruptcy, family involvement, insurance disputes, and workplace or real estate issues, among others. Any time a business enters into a contract, there is a real chance that disputes and conflict will arise. With business mediation, a formal dispute may not even be in process, but the potential for a dispute may be in the air.

What to Expect in Business Mediation

Business mediation is not rigid, like litigation or arbitration–it naturally allows for more flexibility. The mediator or mediation company does not coerce, but works with all parties to find an agreeable solution. The mediator has no authority to impose or enforce an agreement, but instead is there to keep discussions focused on equitable problem-solving. The mediation process can be said to be semi-formal, and the mediation company’s goal is to ensure that all parties’ concerns are heard, while also allowing them to engage in productive discussion. Business mediation is focused on clearing up misunderstandings, generating a working solution, and maintaining relationships.

A business mediator can provide unique solutions that individuals at odds would not have thought of. Once an agreement is reached, it will be put down in writing and signed by all parties involved. That being said, if parties are not able to reach an amicable agreement, either individual can withdraw from mediation at any time. Each mediator will have their own style of mediation, but in general, the structure of the process should be consistent.

Why Use Business Mediation?

In some cases, business mediation is court-mandated or strongly suggested by an agency of authority in the realm of the dispute. But in others, parties may opt for business mediation voluntarily.

Here are just a few reasons that a company might turn to business mediation:

Nuanced Approach

Even the most neutral judge or jury can never get to know the intricacies of a situation that leads to a dispute. Business mediators can. They are trained to be neutral, and it is their job to get to know the details and root causes of a situation.

Cost

Regardless of the mediation company’s fees, they will inevitably be less than taking an issue to court. This is especially true because parties generally shoulder only a portion of the total cost of mediation, instead of each one retaining their own attorney for a court case. 

Flexibility

The one-on-one nature of business mediation allows for a more nuanced approach that can sometimes be stymied by the rigid nature of the courtroom. The mediation process allows for more innovative problem solving techniques.

Collaborative Mindset

Unlike litigation that pits one party against another, mediation fosters collaboration and cooperation toward a common goal. The focus is on finding a mutually beneficial solution, and that can save valuable and meaningful business relationships. 

Confidentiality

While litigation is generally an open book, mediation is, by its nature, a confidential exchange of information. Especially when business matters include sensitive or secret information, confidentiality is vital. 

Speed

The timeline of the business mediation process is usually much faster than a trial thanks to its concentrated, focused approach. 

A trained mediator can use their skills to find commonalities that can point to root causes or cultural issues within a business, while also leading to potential solutions.

How Does Business Mediation Work?

In general, mediation will only work well if everyone involved is invested in the process and willing to come to a mutual agreement. This is often true in cases where parties may agree on the circumstances, but can’t seem to come to terms with a solution on their own. Once they find a mediator to handle their case, the business mediation process begins with a collection of important information from all parties. The mediator will then collate that data and schedule meetings to hear each party express their concerns. Only the mediator is able to question the parties about their testimony. Additional meetings could be held separately with the individuals on their own–these are known as caucuses. Subsequent meetings will be held at a neutral location with all parties involved, where they can make prepared statements. The mediator can use the information they glean to make and present their findings, working with the parties to reach an agreeable solution. 

Despite strained relations, a skilled and perceptive business mediator can help to identify common goals and facilitate both improved communication and a satisfactory resolution. Unlike the more formal process of arbitration, mediation is an informal discussion that does not adhere to strict rules, only established procedures.

Who Can Attend Business Mediation?

Parties involved in business mediation should expect strict confidentiality. This naturally means that only the parties at odds and perhaps their attorneys should be in attendance at mediation meetings.

Who Pays for Business Mediation?

Unless specifically agreed to in an independent contract, mediation parties generally share costs. Therefore, regardless of the mediation company’s fees, costs will inevitably be less than taking an issue to court and retaining an attorney. The timeline is also usually much faster than a trial, which naturally reduces expense. The largest cost is the mediator’s time, and that will vary from one case to another. Transit time, cooperation of the parties, and the complexity of the issues being disputed will be factored in. Document preparation and the potential cost of a site for the mediation meetings will also come into play.

Is Business Mediation Legally Binding?

Business mediation is an informal process that is not legally binding in and of itself. This means that the mediator or meditation company has no legal authority to impose an agreement on the parties. However, once those parties voluntarily accept an agreement and come to resolution, the terms of that agreement become legally binding on them. In order to change terms, they would need to take the matter to a judge.

How to Choose a Business Mediator

Doing a bit of research can ensure that a mediator or mediation company is right for your situation and has experience handling similar cases. It takes training and skill to be an effective mediator who can affect change and steer a dispute towards resolution. At Dottore Companies, we pride ourselves on our ability to help clients work through conflict, addressing difficult situations with strategic solutions. Feel free to contact us to ask questions about our experience that could pertain to your case.

Work With An Experienced Cleveland Mediation Company

Dottore Companies mediators draw from a deep business acumen and understanding of the legal system. They focus their expertise on helping businesses and individuals in Cleveland with dispute management. The right mediator can help to resolve a situation at any stage of conflict. Dottore mediators are truly neutral and are specially trained to help facilitate negotiations between opposing parties. If you’re currently stuck in a business-related dispute and would like to explore our mediation services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re ready to help you move on.

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2344 Canal Rd
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Phone: 216-771-0727
Fax: (216) 771-2450
info@dottoreco.com

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