A former President once said, “the chief business of the American people is business.” Now, almost one hundred years later, the smooth functioning of the business is still at the cornerstone of the nation’s economy and our prosperity. More than anything else, business in America bases its functioning upon agreements between people. These “people” may be individuals or corporate entities, both large and small. The business contract – or covenant – is at the heart of that process. When the parties agree on the terms, everyone is happy. When one of the involved parties violates the terms of their commitment, however, well that’s when things get complicated. The time for voilated contract mediation has arrived. 

Signing A Business Contract

A business contract is an agreement made between two or more parties who are interested in doing business together. A business covenant spells out what each party agrees to do and what each party receives for doing what they decide to do under the agreement. Contracts that contain all the elements required by the law are enforceable under the law. Of course, no matter how much all the parties to an agreement may be happy with it in the beginning, differences in interpretation and what was agreed upon by the parties frequently arise as time goes on. 

If the original contract was incomplete; for example, it did not address contingency issues, future disagreements are almost inevitable. All business pacts should spell out as much as possible with details regarding the rights and responsibilities of all parties under the contractual agreement. While verbal covenants are legally valid for most transactions (most but not all, for example, all arrangements regarding the sale of real estate must be in writing), you should avoid them in most instances. The burden of proving what the parties agreed to under a purely oral agreement is many times more difficult than when dealing with a written settlement. 

In addition to spelling out the details of each party’s duties under the contract, be sure to include specifics regarding money amounts due under the agreement. Once again, the key is to be as specific as possible regarding the rights and duties of all parties to the covenant. 

Should one or more terms of the covenant be violated, mediation is an ideal option for mitigating the necessity for litigation. 

Mediation – What to Know

Another essential element of all business pacts should be a section that spells out what will occur if something goes wrong regarding the obligations. Even when the parties have developed a comprehensive contract agreement spelling out the duties and responsibilities of all parties, disputes can arise. Arguments can be big or small, relating to anything from a significant provision to merely the meaning of one word. 

Regardless of the size of the dispute, the original contract must have a provision relating to dispute resolution or the parties are likely to end up in a costly court battle. These disputes, however, can be avoided by utilizing business mediation. The initial agreement should spell out how you will settle any disputes that may arise during the contract period. If you fail to spell out how you will resolve such conflicts, going to court may be the only choice. 

Avoiding Court Expenses

Going to court is an expensive process and is not something to take lightly. Spending thousands of dollars to settle the meaning of a word or phrase may also not be the most economical way of doing business. The wise choice that can save much of the expense of “seeing you in court” is to include a mediation clause in your business settlements. The mediation process is a voluntary process where a neutral third party assists the parties in resolving their dispute. 

The impartial third-party mediator works with the parties to the dispute in assisting them in reaching a common ground and settling the dispute. While the mediator works to facilitate the interactions and tries to help the parties agree, the parties themselves control the process and they alone agree. The process does not require a judge or legal panel of any sort. For this reason, business contract mediation costs are usually only a fraction of those incurred when going to court to settle what is often a minor dispute. When such a conflict arises, it is time to contact a business violated contract mediation attorney for assistance. 

Business Mediation Issues

Disputes involving business contracts are just as likely to arise involving small businesses and individuals as they are when large corporations are a party to a contract. Due to more limited resources and reduced, perhaps nonexistent legal departments, resolving disputes using business mediation makes even more sense for the smaller business entity. 

By utilizing business mediation to resolve violated contract issues, you maintain more control over the outcome. Besides being a cost saver, the mediation process is not only more efficient, but it is also confidential. The process usually takes place in a private conference room. The parties to the dispute and the impartial mediator are the only ones present. If your dispute ends up going to court, negotiations occur in a public courtroom for all to hear and become part of the public record. 

Contact the Experts at Shapiro Mediation Services

Business disputes are severe business and can be costly and time-consuming to resolve when they arise. If you are about to enter into a business contract, have a related dispute, or looking to address a voided contract issue, Shapiro Mediation Services can help. We can review your agreement with you and sort through the plethora of factors that need to be in place to protect your rights and protect your business. Contact Shapiro Mediation today at (339) 298-7733  for a free consultation.

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