When parties consider the options available in handling business disputes, it would be most beneficial for both parties to resolve matters in the most efficient way possible. Depending on the severity of the dispute, the matter could rise as high as an appeal to the state’s Supreme Court. A more practical route would be to stay within the general jurisdiction state court or by using Alternative Dispute Resolution, also known as ADR, methods. Scenario
The shipping company has maintained a contract with a supplier of copy equipment. The company receives a bill monthly for its services and the allotment of prints made. A dispute occurred after the service technician advised the owner of an issue with the ink cartridges. The technician advised the owner that the new cartridges will be delivered within the week. However, they did not receive them until four weeks later. During that time, the shipping company was unable to print anything, causing a loss in revenue. When the monthly bill arrived, the company was still charged for the allotted amount of prints. The owner contacted the supplier and was unable to resolve the issue.
Proceeding through Court
If the issue cannot be resolved through an Alternative Dispute Resolution it can be costly, time-consuming and possibly a business-damaging course of action. The litigation process is as follows: Pleadings – is the paper work that is filed with the court to initiate and respond to a lawsuit. A complaint must be filled. Then a court order summons will follow and the defendant would then file an answer. Discovery – is the legal process for a detailed pretrial. This process includes; deposition, interrogatories, production of documents, and physical or mental examination. Pretrial motions – is where parties try to resolve or dispose of all or part of a lawsuit prior to trial. Settlement conference – is where the court directs the attorneys or parties to appear before the court for a settlement.
Trial – can last a day or many months. Includes Jury selection, opening statements, plaintiffs case, defendants case, rebuttal and rejoinder, closing arguments, jury deliberation, verdict and entry of judgment Appeal – once final judgment is entered, either party can file an appeal. If an appeal is made it would need to be reviewed by the court of appeals. Then it would go to the state supreme court. A more appropriate method or resolution would be to engage in negotiations to try to settle the dispute. The steps taken in negotiation as a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution are far less than that of the litigation process and can save cost. In the negotiation process the shipping company and supplier can engage in discussions to try to reach a voluntary settlement. Both companies can be represented by attorneys to try to reach an agreeable solution.
Cheeseman, H.R. (2013). Business law: Legal environment, online commerce, business ethics, and international issues (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.