Court battles are long and costly ordeals that most people want to avoid if they can help it. Of course, some situations do call for litigation, but it is often much less frequent than the media would have a person believe.
In fact, many business disputes end up settled outside of court entirely. There are plenty of alternative litigation methods available.
How arbitration works
FINRA discusses the differences between alternative methods of dispute resolution. Two of the most popular alternatives are arbitration and mediation.
Arbitration is the most similar to litigation, though without the steep costs, long wait and invasion of privacy via public court records. An arbitrator will listen to all sides of a dispute present their arguments and evidence. They make a decision based on this, which all parties must abide by.
The workings of mediation
Comparatively, mediation leaves a lot more of the power up to the parties involved. The mediator will step in to offer advice and ensure that the discussion does not get out of hand and that everyone has a say. They can also de-escalate arguments that may occur, but they do not have the authority to make a final decision for the arguing parties.
Litigation often happens as a last-case resort or in instances where the assets involved in a dispute are far too high. Otherwise, it is possible to discuss alternative litigation options with all members of a dispute. In most cases, to avoid the negative sides of litigation, parties will agree which smooths out the process for everyone.