Are there alternatives to litigating business disputes?

Any party who is involved in a legal dispute can find that it is more complicated and frustrating than they may have expected. Business owners, landlords and employees can all be unsure of how they will be able to resolve their dispute and find some closure.

Many people assume that having a contentious, public courtroom battle is their only option, whether they want that or not. However, there are alternatives to litigation that may be worth examining if you are involved in a business or employment dispute.


Resolving a dispute with the help of a neutral mediator can be the most amicable way to resolve legal disputes. If parties are willing to work together and prioritize peaceful solutions, then mediation can be an effective alternative to litigation. It can also minimize the time and expense required to resolve the dispute.

Not every case is well suited for mediation, though. In some cases, parties simply do not see eye-to-eye on what needs to happen to resolve a dispute, or they cannot agree on the terms of settling conflicts through mediation versus litigation.


Arbitration is another alternative to litigation. It involves presenting a case, including limited evidence, to an arbitrator or panel of arbitrators who will make a decision on the case. It is less formal than litigation, but arbitration is generally more similar to litigation than mediation, especially in cases of binding arbitration.

Typically, both parties agree to arbitration through a contract. The contract can involve landlords and tenants, employees and employers, as well as business owners, customers and/or other companies.

Discussing your options with an attorney

Whether litigation, arbitration or mediation may be right for your case depends on numerous details of your situation, in addition to your priorities with regard to costs, protection of privacy, civil awards and the options to appeal. In order to decide what is right for you, it can be crucial that you discuss your options with an attorney experienced in resolving business disputes. 

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