Many service contracts between an individual and companies or two businesses often contain a common clause. It often spells out how both parties are required to try to resolve any conflict via mediation first before they pursue any type of litigation. If you’re like most people, then you may find it difficult to determine when you’ve given mediation your best effort and it’s finally time to pursue litigation instead.
Georgia judges presiding over family law and civil matters will often order parties to first try to work things out among themselves in mediation before they agree to hear their case in open court. Judges in Augusta may even have plaintiffs and defendants attend regular status update hearings so that they check in on whether they’ve made progress and what their prospects for doing so are.
It may only be the parties have participated in several unfruitful rounds of mediation that a judge will finally agree to send the case to trial. Plaintiffs and defendants may both call witnesses and present other evidence necessary to strengthen their position at trial. Compiling such discovery, having an individual called into court and attorney and court fees can be both costly and take time. Trials can last days, weeks or even months.
A trial generally doesn’t happen right away after claimants decide that they can’t reach an agreement. Judges must find a space on their calendar that works for everyone involved. The court must give all parties involved ample time to compile and review the evidence and to identify potential witnesses. Even still, multiple pre-trial motions may need to be heard and addressed before a case being tried in court.
You may find it helpful to consult with a business law attorney if you and another company are embroiled in an active dispute. Your lawyer may be able to help you identify sticking points in your negotiations and advise you of solutions to help you overcome them so that you don’t have to endure a costly trial.