Businesses and individuals are often advised to avoid litigation when resolving a dispute. Common reasons for doing this include the expense, the long wait for a court date, the distraction of a trial, and the risk of losing. Despite these valid concerns, litigation offers many benefits.
Some common benefits
The nature of each dispute is different, but typical benefits include:
- There is closure: The parties can argue for weeks or months with no resolution. Litigation concludes with a ruling.
- There is cooperation: Litigation forces reluctant parties to show up for hearings, provide documentation and generally address the matter.
- There is a public record: While keeping the nature of a dispute private is often desirable, there may be benefits to making it a matter of public knowledge. The courts keep public records.
- There is a precedent: A ruling can also establish a guide for handling future cases, plus a positive result may prevent others from pursuing similar cases in the future.
- The cost: As pointed out above, litigation can be expensive, but dragging out a case can mean ongoing expenses or may lead to other future disputes.
- A chance to appeal: If the parties agree to binding arbitration, they cannot appeal a ruling that did not consider all the facts.
It’s best to discuss options with an attorney
While many business law lawyers will try to resolve the issue through arbitration or other alternate dispute resolution options, an experienced and knowledgeable litigator is often the best judge on whether litigating a dispute is the best approach.