Disputes are a normal part of any relationship: be it business, personal or professional. When business mixes with family, disputes would seem an unavoidable part of the deal. For such a reason, litigation would be a route that most would want to avoid due to cost, time and the tensions placed on parties involved. In general, most suits settle prior to trial and a majority of these via mediation. Judges also recommend that parties settle prior to trial.
As we have discussed on our previous blog posts, Mediation is a way to appoint a neutral third party, often a retired judge or attorney with a vast amount of experience, who will resolve the dispute between both parties utilizing a problem-solving approach. These sessions are confidential and a way for parties to explore and resolve issues.
For privacy reasons, and for a quicker resolution method, it would appear that such measures are more viable if a dispute was to occur within a family owned business. Such cases may involve the ownership or management of a family-owned business are at issue, settlement agreements also can include provisions requiring, for example, transfers of shares, changes to corporate governance processes, or changes to a family member’s employment or other involvement with the company. Even if the parties begin to litigate their disputes, but then proceed to mediation, a judge will typically enforce a settlement agreement reached by the parties through mediation. Continue reading