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What is the Best Way to Handle a Commercial Dispute?

Article Details
  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2016
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2016
    Conjecture Corporation
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A commercial dispute is a legal question or conflict arising out of a business transaction. Commercial disputes often occur between a business and a customer, two conflicting businesses, or business partners. There are dozens of different types of commercial dispute, from breach of contract issues to misconduct accusations. When trying to handle a commercial dispute, it is important to stay calm and try to take efficient, productive actions that will solve the matter quickly and with the least amount of fuss.

One of the most important steps to solving a commercial dispute is to understand the applicable laws. Regional, state, and federal laws may all factor into how a dispute proceeds, and it can be very helpful to read and understand the laws before taking any further steps. While the expert advice of an attorney is often necessary in a complicated commercial dispute, it may be reassuring and helpful to a party involved in a dispute to read the text of the laws and form a personal understanding and position on the issue.

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Presuming that the dispute is not spurious, some experts suggest trying to negotiate a settlement or resolution without resorting to legal action. If the other party is open to negotiation, try to resolve the matter to satisfaction before turning to the courts for assistance. Personally negotiating and resolving the issue can save both parties a lot of time and money, but it requires that all involved parties are reasonable, open to working things out, and concerned with acting lawfully. If these conditions are not met, it may be time to move on to other options to resolve a commercial dispute.

Before resorting to litigation, consider pursuing mediation or arbitration as an alternative. Mediation uses a neutral third party to try and work out a dispute between the primary parties. Mediation is generally not legally binding, and may not always result in a solved dispute, but can be a fast and less expensive alternative to court action. Arbitration is a legally binding process that can be faster than a regular trial, and has the advantage of being a closed-doors procedure that protects privacy. The major downside to arbitration is that decisions are almost always final and cannot be appealed. Both mediation and arbitration allow for the possibility of attorney representation, but usually do not mandate an attorney's presence.

Resolving a commercial dispute can be made simpler through organization and good business practices. Keeping documents in an accessible, secure filing system can help streamline the discovery process for a lawsuit. Ensuring that all contracts are reviewed by a reputable attorney can cut down on the chances of a contract being declared unlawful or invalid. Though no measure can foolproof a business or customer from a commercial dispute, good organization can go a long way toward warding off spurious claims.

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