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Corporate and General Business Law

What is business litigation?

What is involved when litigating a business issue?

How long will the lawsuit take?

Is there pressure to settle cases out of court?

What are some alternatives to litigation?

What is the difference between mediation and arbitration?

Is the result of mediation or arbitration binding?





Q: What is business litigation?

Business litigation is the resolution of disputes that arise out of the ownership or operation of a business, or which involves claims between a business and another business or individual. Business litigation lawyers represent individuals, businesses,and financial institutions in disputes such as ownership disagreements, contract disputes, claims of improper conduct, real estate issues, technology and intellectual property, professional malpractice, shareholder and corporate governance disputes and many other areas in which disputes arise within a business or in its relations with the outside world.


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Q: What is involved when litigating a business issue?

This depends on the issue. The business owner would follow the same process for business litigation as he or she would for any civil lawsuit, including usually obtaining an attorney, pretrial matters such as motions and discovery, possible settlement negotiations, trial, and possibly appeal.


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Q: How long will the lawsuit take?

It varies. The length of time a lawsuit takes depends on a number of factors, such as the complexity of the case, the number of parties involved, the willingness of the parties to resolve the case and the court’s schedule. A relatively simple suit, not involving any complex legal or factual issues, could be over in a few months, while a complicated, multi-party suit could take years to resolve.


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Q: Is there pressure to settle cases out of court?

Courts encourage settlement, but cannot require parties to reach an agreement.  It is usually in each party’s best interest to settle a case without going through a trial. Trials can be costly, and consume time and resources that could better be spent on other things.  Even so, many parties find that they simply are unable to reach an agreement.  If an agreement cannot be reached, the parties have the right to proceed to trial.


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Q: What are some alternatives to litigation?

Businesses often use Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods. The ADR process usually utilizes arbitration or mediation. These alternatives are attractive because they are often less expensive and more efficient than traditional litigation.


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Q: What is the difference between mediation and arbitration?

Mediation is a cooperative process and uses a neutral third party (a mediator) to facilitate consensus building and discussion, in order to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution. Arbitration also employs a neutral third party (an arbitrator), who listens to both sides and makes a decision, which is usually binding.


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Q: Is the result of mediation or arbitration binding?

The judgment in arbitration is usually binding on the parties. Often the parties decide prior to the arbitration proceeding that the findings of the arbitrator will be final and legally binding. This agreement is usually formalized by a contract signed by all parties involved. Much less commonly, parties may agree to nonbinding arbitration, viewed as a negotiation technique. Mediation is not binding and the parties, if dissatisfied with the result, can move on to a courtroom proceeding.


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The attorneys of Pankey & Horlock, LLC serve the entire state of Georgia, including Atlanta, Alpharetta, Auburn, Decatur, Doraville, Douglasville, Duluth, Kennesaw, Lawrenceville, Marietta, Stone Mountain, Dekalb County, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, and Cobb County, GA.



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