Category Archives: Contract Disputes

Five Steps to Resolving Commercial Contract Disputes in San Bernardino CA

Commercial contract disputes in San Bernardino California can arise in any industry and involve a variety of parties, including contractors, vendors, competitors, customers and business partners.  While these disputes have the potential to cause significant disruption in your business, mediation is a process that can often help resolve commercial contract disputes in San Bernardino California.  The process of mediation is discussed below.

Request for Mediation 

Mediation is a voluntary process.  As such, the process commences when one of the parties or their respective legal counsel approaches the other about the possibility.  While some parties may be hesitant to broach the subject, doing so shows that your client is interested in resolving the claim in a cooperative manner.

Selection of Mediator 

After the parties agree to mediation, they get to select the mediator of their choosing.  They may have already used the services of a mediator, or they may decide together on a new mediator based on his or her particular skill set.

Mediator Communications

The mediator will begin his or her role in the case by communicating with the parties before the actual mediation session.  He or she may help the parties agree on a preliminary exchange of documents and request a brief from each party to provide a background on the case.  He or she also schedules a date for mediation.

Mediation Session

At the actual mediation session, the mediator begins the process by explaining the ground rules and his or her role as a facilitator of communication.  During mediation, the mediator will help identify the underlying issues between the parties and figure out ways that the parties can work together to resolve these issues.  The parties may brainstorm ideas and evaluate the proposed options to resolve the claim.

Agreement

In most mediation cases, the parties can usually resolve their legal disputes with one or more mediation sessions.  The parties’ sign the agreement that they helped create through the process of mediation.

Preventing Commercial Contract Disputes in Beverly Hills CA from Ruining Your Business

Commercial contract disputes in Beverly Hills California are almost inevitable.  Between the many contracts that a business enters into every year with other businesses, customers and vendors, it is likely that a problem will arise at some point.  These commercial contract disputes in Beverly Hills California can often mean lost productivity, lost profits and a diminished reputation in the business.  If the case goes to court, much speculation will follow.  Fortunately, mediation provides an effective solution to work out problems that arise in a commercial contract dispute.

Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that can be initiated at any stage of a case.  It can even be commenced before a lawsuit is ever filed, a strategy that helps businesses keep their private doings from reaching the public.  Agreeing to mediation before a case is filed prevents businesses from suffering backlash from other companies that may be reluctant to do business with a company that they find to be litigious.  Mediation provides an expedited mechanism to resolve legal issues without the public nature of a lawsuit.

A mediator assists the parties in negotiating a settlement on their own terms.  Neither party is bound to any term until they both agree on it.  A mediator is not a judge as he or she does not have the authority to impose a decision on the parties.  The parties to a case can structure their own solutions in a way that they see fit, an option that a traditional court case does not allow.

A distinct benefit of mediation is that it focuses on cooperation between the parties.  Commercial contract disputes arise between companies that had already agreed to do business.  Sometimes, these disputes involve parties who have done business for years.  Mediation allows the parties to meet face to face to work out a solution, often allowing the business relationship to thrive.

Influences on Parties Involved in Commercial Contract Disputes in San Bernardino CA

When clients become involved in commercial contract disputes in San Bernardino California, there are usually two major issues to parse out.  The first is the real reason why the dispute is occurring.  The second issue is to determine the underlying influences that have affected the clients involved in commercial contract disputes in San Bernardino California.  Once the mediator identifies these issues, he or she can address them so that the parties can focus on the main issues.  Some underlying influences may include:

Personalities

The personalities of the litigants and the attorneys can have a significant impact on the parties involved in the dispute.  One party’s aggressive nature may cause the other party to respond defensively. The mediator can help adjust for this dynamic by funneling communications between the parties so their time together is limited.

Emotions

When people’s livelihoods and reputations are on the line, things can become heated.  There may be strong feelings on both sides.  The mediator can identify feelings of betrayal, disrespect and disappointment by empathizing with the party sharing this information and then can guide the parties back to the main reasons why they are at mediation.

Risk Tolerance 

A significant influence on the parties can be risk tolerance. If a party is financially stable and wants to assert its rights at trial, this party may be more likely to pursue litigation than accept mediation terms that it is not satisfied with.  In contrast, a small business that was not anticipating a legal fight may be more willing to use mediation to help resolve the dispute because it is a less risky prospect than having a decision made against it at trial.

Financial Needs and Limitations 

Similarly, the financial needs and limitations of the parties can affect them.  If the plaintiff needs funds more quickly than litigation would allow, mediation may be preferable.

Peacefully Resolving Commercial Contract Disputes in Beverly Hills CA

Many commercial contract disputes in Beverly Hills California are peacefully resolved through the use of mediation. Through mediation, the parties concentrate on coming up with a resolution that works for both parties. The path to peacefully resolving commercial contract disputes in Beverly Hills California includes:

Cooperation

During a business dispute, it is easy to see the issues as either being on your side or against you. However, it is possible to find options that can ultimately satisfy both parties. Just as your client and the other party’s client likely negotiated the original contract, the parties can work together to negotiate the terms of a mediation agreement. One successful tactic is sometimes for one party or legal representative to make an initial offer and then the other party makes a reciprocal offer. At some point, the parties may reach an agreement.

Persuasion

To get the other side to budge on some issues, it is necessary to persuade the other party of the merits of your own position. Additionally, you must be able to show why even if an issue is resolved in your favor how it will still benefit both parties.

Respect

The skillset that makes a person a great litigator is often adverse to the approach needed in mediation. In mediation, it is important that legal representatives show each other, the mediator and the parties respect. Being disrespectful during mediation can inhibit cooperation and promotes resistance.

Patience

Patience is a virtue, especially in mediation. Mediation can often take many hours before the parties reach an agreement. In some cases, it may take multiple mediation sessions before an agreement is made. Additionally, parties and their legal counsel must be patient with the other party and their attorney, especially when they feel the other side is being unreasonable in their position or settlement offer.

How Mediation Aids Contract Disputes in Beverly Hills CA

With expensive real estate, intellectual property and new venture possibilities, it is not uncommon for contract disputes in Beverly Hills California to arise. Even though the parties may have a written agreement, things may go wrong with a contract or a problem may arise that the parties never thought of. Mediation can help resolve contract disputes in Beverly Hills California without all of the negative aspects of litigation. For this reason, mandatory mediation clauses are common in Beverly Hills contracts.

Mediation is a process of guided negotiations that is led by a third party neutral, called the mediator. The process usually begins in a general session in which the mediator gives each party the opportunity to freely express how he or she believes the dispute arose and the issues that are currently in conflict. The parties often then break off into separate groups that the mediator meets one on one.

Rather than focusing on the differences between the parties, the mediator often approaches the case by getting the parties to discuss their shared interests, such as avoiding negative publicity and maintaining a continued business relationship. Once the groundwork is laid, the parties and the mediator discuss the underlying issues and the contributing factors that led to the current dispute.

The parties and the mediator works together to devise creative solutions to the problems. While in litigation the parties are pitted against each other, the parties in mediation collaborate. They collaboratively negotiate their differences until they reach a settlement of the existing case.

At the end of mediation, the parties have often learned how to strengthen and revitalize their relationship. If a future problem arises, they have learned valuable skills to know how to resolve it. They also know that mediation is an option.

Pitfalls of Commercial Contract Disputes in San Bernardino CA

Due to the increase in businesses and investments in the area, contract disputes in San Bernardino California are not uncommon. Attorneys face a number of pitfalls when dealing with contract disputes in San Bernardino California on a regular basis. Being cognizant of these pitfalls can help attorneys better prepare their clients for the likely challenges ahead.

Delays

Commercial contract disputes often involve a number of parties. Therefore, each additional party adds a greater likelihood that there will be delays. This may be a result of a discovery request being cumbersome, one party refusing to negotiate when other parties are ready to settle or attorneys attempting to track down witnesses who are no longer in the area. These tasks often take quite some time to complete and the process is often delayed when many parties are involved.

High Emotional Stakes

Although this type of litigation may not appear to be as emotionally-driven as other forms of litigation such as family law or probate law, commercial litigation can still be very emotional. Individuals may have invested their entire life savings into a business. The dispute may be between business partners who are also family members. Feelings of resentment and betrayal are quite common. When a person’s livelihood is at stake, it is often a personal issue. Commercial litigation attorneys must strike the careful balance of acknowledging the emotional stakes involved in a case and attempting to redirect clients toward the objective goals.

Complex Issues

Commercial disputes may involve complex matters, expert witnesses and difficult concepts. Ultimately, a jury of people who do not work in the same profession may be the ultimate decision making authority. In some cases, a commercial disputes lawyer may recommend the parties participate in mediation so that people more seasoned in this field are the ones making the decisions that most affect them.

Commercial Contract Disputes in Los Angeles CA: Advantages of Mediating

Commercial contract disputes in Los Angeles California may represent deals worth millions of dollars. Even if they don’t, they often represent a case involving business partners who would like to maintain business with each other after the dispute is resolved. Mediation of commercial contract disputes in Los Angeles California carries with it several advantages that litigation does not.

For example, mediation is a confidential process. In litigation, the case is public. The verdict is public. Even exhibits submitted to the court are often public. In the commercial world, there are certain pieces of evidence that your client will want to protect, such as its bid on particular projects. It may not want its competitors to be aware of its pricing structure. Commercial disputes may also contain sensitive information about the business processes, earnings, client relationships and trade secrets. Mediation is a confidential process that prohibits either party from bringing up information gleaned during the mediation session.

The old adage of “time is money” is truer in the commercial world than out of it. As a business dispute develops, employees may be paid while there is little or no progress being completed on the job. Vendors may cancel orders, causing a future delay in the project. Payments may have stopped on a project until the dispute is resolved. Waiting for the court system to finally hear a case can take years. However, mediation sessions can often be scheduled within weeks or days of a request. If the parties reach an agreement, business can continue with only a minimal delay. Additionally, most mediation sessions last less than a day, unlike a trial which can run on for weeks.

Benefits of Mediating Contract Disputes in Beverly Hills CA

Contract disputes in Beverly Hills California are common occurrences when one of the parties breaches his or her obligations under the contract or behaves in a way that makes the other party feel that the deal is threatened. Contract disputes in Beverly Hills California can arise for any number of reasons, including disagreements regarding employment contracts, construction contracts that are not being honored or intellectual property license agreements that are being breached.

While a common reaction to contract disputes is to run to the courthouse, conscientious lawyers should consider the process of mediation as an alternative to expensive and time-consuming litigation. Often in contract disputes, both parties wind up losing business, time and money. Their reputation may also be damaged and other investors and parties may be unwilling to work with someone who they believe is litigious.

By mediating contract disputes, clients discuss their concerns with a neutral mediator who helps facilitate communication. This process is much different than litigation in which parties are adversaries. An experienced mediator will help the parties move toward a solution. Because the parties arrive at this solution on their own instead of giving the power to a judge to decide issues that affect the party’s lives and businesses, the parties are often able to maintain respect for one another and continue with the business deal.

Even if the parties are unable to reach an agreement during one mediation session, they are often able to settle their case before a trial. Mediating contract disputes helps to provide the foundation for further negotiations and the possibility of mitigating the expenses that are rampant with litigation. Additionally, parties usually share in the expense of mediation, so neither party has to be out an exorbitant amount of money in order to peacefully resolve the issues.

Possible Reasons for Contract Disputes in Beverly Hills CA

Despite business deals and transactions starting out sunshine and roses, there’s a chance that even the most promising transaction can head south and straight into litigation with contract disputes in Beverly Hills CA.

But what happened? How could seemingly promising relationships get off course and crash in a fiery heap that has both sides lawyering up and ready for battle? According to legal experts, the trouble usually arises in one of three areas.

1. The contract itself

It’s all about expectations. And when one party’s expectations don’t match up with the other party’s, no matter how far down the road into the contract they are, there’s bound to be trouble. Contracts need to cover all possibilities, eventualities and even other players in the process. Roles like developers, designers, contractors, suppliers and subcontractors all enter the transaction and if they’re duties and expectations aren’t specifically spelled out in “scope of work,” trouble could arise.

2. The people

People can make or break a business deal; it’s a fact of life. Often, even the most clearly written expectations and work plans can be derailed by “people” involved in the work and send the deal crashing into the ground. Understanding the people involved in the work you’re undertaking and looking into track record and previous projects will serve you well.

3. The unknown

The world is chaotic and the “unknown” in contract dispute issue encompasses pretty much anything that happens to get to contract off track that isn’t the fault of either part. Crazy weather. Union strikes. Natural disasters. These all have the potential to create issues with even the best constructed contracts and can lead to disputes.