A business dispute in Georgia does not have to go through a complicated process before resolution. When discussing business resolutions, arbitration and mediation often come up. While arbitration is common, mediation can help with dispute resolution. According to Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation, the mediation process has around six steps.

First, the mediator aids the parties in the planning process. The companies decide which parties will attend the mediation. Often, the mediator might be a former judge with mediation experience. Teams from both companies will meet in the mediator’s office to have a conversation.

The mediator will introduce the parties to one another and outline the process and rules. He or she will also give the parties his or her goal for the process. Once introduced, the mediator will allow each side to present their arguments and side of the dispute. No one can interrupt the parties when it is their turn to speak.

After the opening statements, the parties can have a joint discussion. During this stage, the mediator and the parties can ask questions and attempt to come to an understanding. Mediators serve as translators because parties in dispute often have difficulty listening to each other. Now, if the room becomes too tense or if emotions are too high, then the mediator may separate the groups into separate rooms to discuss details further. These conversations are confidential.

At the end of the process, the two parties will negotiate. This is where the two formulate proposals and try to come to a conclusion that is in the best interests of both companies.

None of the above is to be interpreted as legal advice. It is for educational purposes only.