While they may come with the best intentions, some business deals deteriorate and can even become adversarial. When that happens, more is at risk than just the business relationship. Disputes that happen between and within businesses can cause significant damage and even a loss of reputation. Not to mention, all the stress and other soft costs that come with it (such as lost time responding, searching for documents, and responding to document requests).
When it comes to mediation in Texas, the last thing you want is someone who can handle numbers back and forth until you can agree on a specific dollar amount. While this approach will get the job done, it wouldn’t necessarily work in your best interests. Mediation needs to be more than just monetary proposals that are being sent from one room to another, or everyone will leave feeling exhausted and unaccomplished.
The Purpose of Mediation in Texas
Texas mediation is familiar to most people as a way of resolving issues related to labor management as well as a number of international disputes, but it has also been used to settle conflicts concerning contracts as well as any interpersonal, human resource, and EEO issues. It involves the intervention of a third person (who is called a “mediator”) into a dispute, so he or she can help both parties come up with a mutual resolution on issues related to a specific conflict.
The mediator will meet with each party while encouraging them to be open and honest about their point of view. As a neutral party, he or she can look at the dispute objectively and can help both parties to consider any alternatives or options that they may not have considered. The mediator stays neutral and won’t personally benefit from the terms of the settlement. This person won’t have any preconceived ideas about the conflict, so he or she will remain impartial throughout the process.
The mediation session will remain private and confidential, and any issues related to the mediation discussion have been held by the Federal court system to be privileged and inadmissible in any adversarial administrative or court proceeding. There are some exceptions to this rule, which will include any issues related to the following:
- Waste and abuse.
- Criminal activity.
If a settlement wasn’t reached during the mediation session and it was litigated in any administrative or judicial proceeding, neither the mediator nor the mediator’s notes can be subpoenaed by either party.
Common Disputes for Business Mediation in Texas
There are two common business disputes where Texas mediation can be helpful:
- Payment Disputes — Businesses will often sell goods on credit to their customers, and payment is usually made once the customer has received delivery. The payment terms can be a 30-day, 60-day, or 90-day credit. But if the customer doesn’t repay all or part of the owed amount on the day it’s due, it can cause a dispute. A mediator can help both the buyer and seller share documents and facts related to the shipment, quantity, and quality of the goods (in addition to the terms of payment).
- Contract Disputes — Written and verbal contracts are the core of any business transaction. They have all the terms and conditions that both parties must fulfill once they have been signed. But when one party doesn’t fulfill any of these conditions, it can result in a dispute. For a construction or home improvement business, a dispute can come up between the builder and any contractor or sub-contractors. A contract dispute can also come up between a manufacturer and an authorized distributor or dealer (such as a wholesaler or retailer).
A good mediator with experience in handling different types of business disputes can help both parties come up with a mutual understanding. They should understand how these businesses work and the typical nature of these disputes that can come up in whatever industry these businesses operate. A business mediator will be able to facilitate communication between both sides, so both of them can come up with a resolution. It will involve coming up with a compromise, because litigation could be detrimental to their business interests.
If you’re looking for a qualified attorney who can help you with the process of media