A settlement conference is a form of alternative dispute resolution that occurs before trial, with the purpose of negotiating a settlement between the parties. From an informal meeting, or more formal arbitration or mediation conferences, there are benefits and risks related to a settlement that is important to discuss with your attorney.
In order to avoid the cost of litigation, a settlement conference could be in you and your company's best interest. An experienced Massachusetts litigation attorney at the Katz Law Group can ensure your legal rights are protected and your best interests are considered.
Arbitration is a formal form of alternative dispute resolution in which an arbitrator plays the role of the judge. The findings of the arbitrator are typically irreversible through any form of appeal. This type of dispute resolution typically comes about through an arbitration provision in a contract or by agreement between the parties.
Arbitration can be an effective way to avoid the costs of trial, especially when the arbitration is arranged by you or your company. It does not guarantee favorable findings but would greatly reduce the costs of litigation.
Mediation is a less formal settlement conference as compared to arbitration. Unlike arbitration, there is not a judge or arbitrator that makes a binding decision. Instead, a neutral third party, the mediator, speaks with the parties in order to help facilitate compromise and agreement. It is the parties who must decide to settle and it cannot be forced upon them.
Mediation can save on the expense involved in litigation and can foster agreement and cooperation rather than division. This can be especially helpful in a business relationship, as a settlement can foster a continued healthy business relationship far more likely than an adversarial process like arbitration or trial.
Risks and Benefits of Settlement
A settlement is usually a good thing that is beneficial to all parties. When a case is settled, it saves the possibly high costs associated with a long and protracted legal battle. It also allows for parties to know the outcome of the case, rather than face the uncertainty with allowing the judge or arbitrator to decide for everyone else. The settlement provides a clear path for moving forward for both parties but provides you and your business sure footing in taking any next steps.
There are, however, risks to settlement as well. One risk is that the other party will not follow through on the agreement. A properly structured and documented settlement is done in a formal contract. This means that if the other party fails to live up to the settlement, they are in breach of a contract, and that contract can be enforced in court. This, of course, is never the outcome anybody hopes for, as the settlement was made with the hopes of avoiding a lengthy legal battle.
Consult a Massachusetts Litigation Attorney
A settlement conference can save you time, money, and frustration. The benefits and risks of settling your case should be discussed with an experienced Massachusetts attorney.
At the Katz Law Group, we are highly experienced in the area of business litigation and settlement. We have the years of experience necessary to protect your rights. Contact us today for a consultation.