California business owners like you do your best to avoid disputes. Unfortunately, it is a big risk of running a business. Not everyone will get along. Even established partners can have disagreements and arguments at times. So where does that leave you?

Having a big toolbox for dispute resolution can go a long way. Different solutions apply to different problems. What works for one may not work for the rest, so it is important to have choices.

Litigation’s place in dispute resolving

FINRA takes a look at arbitration, mediation and litigation as tools to solve disputes. Litigation is what you may think of when it comes to classic disputes. This involves taking the other party to court. While it is an effective way to gain a ruling, it is also time-consuming and expensive. That aside, it also airs your dirty laundry in a public way. If you want to keep yourself from burning bridges, litigation is not a good option.

Arbitration vs. mediation

Arbitration depends on a third party known as an arbitrator. They come in and listening to all parties present their sides. Based on what they learn, they will hand down a decision on what you should do next. This decision is final and binding. This option is less costly than litigation. But is similar in that it involves getting an official ruling. It also results in fewer ruined business relationships.

Mediation involves bringing in a mediator to counsel you through a dispute. They can offer their opinions and suggestions. But their final decision is not binding. You can do with it what you will. This option is great if your dispute is not that caustic. It is very loose-form. But if you need more structure, this may not fit you.