Partnership Disputes: Know The Alternatives To Litigation
For a business owner, litigation can be time-consuming, expensive, and frustrating. It is even more difficult if you are involved in a lawsuit against your own business partner. With partnership disputes, the parties can often benefit from trying to resolve the matter using a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Here, our Miami partnership dispute lawyers highlight three key alternatives to litigation that you can use to resolve a partnership dispute in Florida.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and Partnership Disputes
- Negotiation (Formal or Informal)
With partnership disputes, it is always best to take a proactive approach to the problem. In many situations, disagreements between business partners can be solved through negotiation—even formal negotiation or informal negotiation. Depending on the complexity of the dispute, you may want to seek legal representation. You can negotiate a resolution to a partnership dispute with the help of an experienced South Florida business law attorney. The sooner you and your business partners address the underlying issue, the better position you will be in to move forward.
Partnership disputes are often great candidates for mediation. Under Florida law (Florida Statutes § 44.1011), mediation is defined as a legal process whereby an independent, neutral third party “acts to encourage and facilitate the resolution of a dispute between two or more parties.” Here are some of the key things to know about mediation of a business partnership dispute
- The process is informal;
- The environment is non-adversarial;
- Collaborative problem-solving is emphasized; and
- It is non-binding.
Mediation is often far faster and far more cost effective than litigation. Further, it works well to preserve business relationships. If your goal is to keep working with your business partner (or otherwise maintain a good relationship), mediation is often a great starting point for a dispute. It does not foreclosure your other options.
For some business partnership disputes in Florida, arbitration may be the best alternative to litigation. In fact, you may even have a partnership agreement in place that compels arbitration for most types of disputes. Arbitration can be thought of as a “mini-trial.” In effect, a neutral party (the arbitrator) is selected to “hear” the case. All parties to an arbitration will have an opportunity to present their side of the case, including introducing evidence and even calling witnesses.
The arbitrator will then make a decision on the matter. The primary reason that arbitration offers advantages over litigation is business disputes is that it is a far more efficient process. You will get a decision sooner and, generally, save money on legal costs. In Florida, an arbitration decision is binding. It can only be appealed to the court on very limited grounds.
Schedule a Confidential Consultation With a Florida Partnership Lawyer
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida partnership lawyers have the skills and experience to represent clients in business arbitration and business mediation. If you are involved in a partnership dispute and you are looking for alternatives to litigation, we are available to help. Give us a call now or send us a message directly online to set up your confidential initial appointment.