Avoid Going to Court: Use Alternative Settlement Methods

Lawsuits are a part of business life. You may or may not have warranted it but as a business owner, it is your job to handle it. The usual way to handle it would be to face the lawsuit in court. But that is expensive and time-consuming. Plus, there is a chance that you might lose. Even if you win, you still need to pay legal fees and the like. That is why it is in your best interest not to take the case to court as much as possible.

Here are some alternatives that should help you with your legal problems:

Settlement Agreement

A settlement is the most common way to resolve a lawsuit. You promise to pay them off and the other party will waive all further right to more lawsuits. The main advantage of this is that it can be pretty easy. Give a good settlement amount and the other side will often capitulate easily. The key thing here is how much you will settle for. Try to aim for an amount that is much lower than what you would spend on legal fees in a court battle. You should decide on settling if you are not sure about the results of the trial. But if you are confident about winning, then going to court might be worth it.


Arbitration takes you away from the trial and has an actual arbitrator decide on what happens. If you think you’ve got a solid case but still don’t want to go to court, then arbitration is a good option. You and the other side will send in your evidence and documents. The arbitrator will then make a legally-binding decision that you can’t appeal later in court. There is usually a small fee involved but other than that, you don’t spend much.



Mediation is similar enough to arbitration that professional arbitration and mediation services are available to offer it. But there is a big difference between the two. The main one is that the mediator does not impose any solution like in arbitration. The goal of mediation is to resolve the dispute as amicably as possible. The mediator will have both parties focus on the issue in question and have them try to resolve it with both parties satisfied. This approach works best if both sides in the conflict want to be done with the issue. This does not mean that it can solve the issue. It may end up in a stalemate and you will have to choose other means of resolution. But it does start you off right.

Trial Variations

You may not want to go to court fully but there are trial options that are easier and quicker to handle. For example, a summary jury trial is a fast-tracked and simplified trial process that can resolve issues in only a day. There are also minitrials. It mixes mediation, settlement negotiation, and adjudication in one session to make quick work of disputes. For these variations, it is best to consult your lawyer on whether they are good options.

Lawsuits, whether merited or not, are major distractions for your business. That is why resolving them quickly is in your best interest. Court battles are expensive and take a long time. It is better to resolve it through various alternatives. With the options above, you have a good chance of fixing things without needing to escalate it further.

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