There are a number of ways in which a Tallahassee, Florida, business can find itself in a legal dispute with another firm, an individual with ties to the business or even with an officer or high-ranking employee of its own business. If these disputes blow up in to full-fledged business litigation, then they can cost the owners of the business a lot in terms of time, money and emotional capital.

In order to save some of these resources, many business owners will find it more economical to try a form of alternative dispute resolution rather than taking the case to court. One such process is mediation.

Basically, mediation involves the parties in dispute sitting down with a trained mediator, who functions as a kind of guide to the parties as they work to negotiate a solution to their legal problems. The mediator cannot take sides or even give one side or the other legal or business advice; his or her sole purpose is to help the parties come to a settlement of their litigation.

The mediation process is confidential, and there is no requirement that the two parties actually reach an agreement. If the parties fail to reach an agreement, then the case will ordinarily go on as usual. If, on the other hand, the parties do make an agreement, then courts will ordinarily consider that mediated settlement a binding and enforceable agreement.

Sometimes, a court will order parties to a business dispute to try mediation before moving forward with their case. In other cases, the parties may agree to mediate or may have already agreed to try mediation as part of an earlier contract. In either event, while the mediation process can save a business the time and expense of protracted litigation, an owner still needs to prepare thoroughly before mediating a dispute. An attorney with experience in business litigation can be of valuable assistance in this respect.