Close Menu

Call us for a free case
evaluation 626-844-7102

Non-Litigated Business Disputes: Alternatives to Lawsuits for Resolving Business Conflicts

business disputes

A business could end up in a commercial dispute for a wide range of different reasons. You may be dealing with a conflict with a vendor, supplier, employee, customer/client, or even a business partner. That you are locked in a dispute does not mean that you end up in protracted litigation—even if a lawsuit has been threatened or already filed. There are non-litigation solutions that can be effective alternatives to business disputes. Here, our Los Angeles business lawyer highlights some potential alternatives to litigations for resolving commercial disputes in California. 

Three Alternatives to Lawsuits for Resolving Business Disputes in California


Many major business conflicts can be resolved through negotiation. Indeed, negotiation is the most direct approach to resolving business conflicts. It involves the parties involved in the dispute coming together to discuss their issues openly and attempt to reach an agreement independently. The process is flexible, allowing both sides to control the discussion and terms of any agreement. Negotiation could be relatively informal with the parties having a basic discussion. Alternatively, it could be a somewhat more formal process—with each side represented by a lawyer. In California, businesses often use negotiation as a first step toward dispute resolution. It can be the best option to resolve a dispute at a low level of conflict. 


Mediation introduces a neutral third party, known as a mediator, who helps facilitate a discussion between the disputing parties and assists them in finding a mutually acceptable resolution. Unlike arbitration or litigation, mediation does not end with the mediator imposing a decision. Instead, the mediator helps clarify the underlying issues, fosters communication, and aids in exploring potential solutions. The 2024 California Rules of Court explains that the mediator “must conduct the mediation proceedings in a procedurally fair manner.” Mediation is fundamentally non-binding. All parties have the right to withdraw from the process if it does not work to solve the dispute.


Arbitration is a more formal alternative to litigation and is closer to a judicial process than mediation or negotiation. In California, arbitration is defined as “is an adjudicative process in which an arbitrator or panel of arbitrators issues a decision on the merits after a hearing” (Cal. Code Regs. Tit. 1, § 1232). In some ways, it can be thought of as a faster and more efficient private version of a trial. It involves a neutral third party or a panel, known as arbitrators, who hear evidence and arguments from both sides before making a binding decision.

An Overview of the Main Benefits of Avoiding Litigation for a Business Dispute

For companies that are locked in any type of business dispute in California, there can be major advantages associated with finding a resolution outside of litigation. Indeed, negotiation, mediation, and arbitration all offer some potential benefits over going to court. Here are three of the main advantages of solving a business dispute without litigation: 

  • Save Time: A frustrating aspect of litigation is that it can be a lengthy process. Indeed, it often stretches over months or even years before a conclusion is reached. By opting for alternative dispute resolution methods, businesses can resolve conflicts significantly faster. 
  • Save Money: Court cases are not only time-consuming but also expensive, involving court fees, lawyer fees, and other related costs. Alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation and arbitration generally incur lower expenses. They are more cost-effective.
  • Preserve Relationships: Litigation is adversarial. By definition, it risks long-term business relationships that could still be valuable. Alternative methods like mediation encourage cooperation and communication—aiming to find mutually beneficial solutions. It can be valuable for companies that want to try to preserve a relationship with the counterparty. 

The bottom line is that it is always best to try to use an alternative, non-litigation solution to resolve a business dispute in California. Still, these types of approaches do not work in every case. There may be circumstances in which litigation is required to protect your rights and interests. An experienced Los Angeles business dispute lawyer can help you determine the right path forward.

Contact Our Los Angeles Business Dispute Attorney Today

At the Law Offices of Andrew Ritholz, our Los Angeles business law attorney is committed to helping clients find low-conflict, cost-effective solutions to the full range of commercial disputes. Get in touch with us by phone or connect with us online for a completely confidential case evaluation. With an office in Pasadena and an office in Monrovia, we help businesses find alternatives to litigation throughout Southern California. 

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

© 2018 - 2024 Law Offices of Andrew Ritholz. All rights reserved.