Whether a small business owner or an officer or owner of a more complex business, if your company gets sued it will face unanticipated costs to defend, future financial risk, and public exposure which can hurt your brand. In order to mitigate your risks promptly consult with legal counsel to assist you in defending your lawsuit in a timely and competent manner.
Depending on the nature of your dispute and the posture of the adverse party, you may limit litigation costs and avoid the public nature of litigation by engaging in private mediation or arbitration. Collectively, these alternative methods of dispute resolution are referenced to as “alternative dispute resolution” or ADR.
If you have not yet been sued, and you deal with contractual matters, consider the appropriate drafting of mediation/arbitration clauses in your contracts as allowed by law. One good local resource to help privately resolve your disputes is the Arbitration Service of Portland, Inc (ASI). You can learn more about their services at: http://www.arbserve.com/
ASI also has sample mediation/arbitration clauses to consider including in your contracts. However, when drafting contracts or other agreements, “an ounce of prevention” is warranted. Consult with legal counsel in drafting to assist you by preventing foreseeable risks from developing into litigated disputes in the first place. Also, if you find yourself in need of legal assistance at mediation/arbitration, utilize the assistance of an attorney. An attorney can help you frame your legal issues, present arguments, negotiate effectively, and weigh likely admissible evidence appropriately- all of which are important to ultimately help resolve your dispute in the best way possible for your business.
Litigation is complex and stressful. Therefore, get the assistance you need to ensure you are aware of your legal options and risks in your particular legal situation. A business lawyer with a litigation background is a good asset in such situations.