Mediation Could Help Businesses with COVID-19 Disputes
Wednesday, June, 10, 2020
The US is encouraging businesses to avoid lawsuits related to the COVID-19 pandemic by utilizing mediation. There are concerns that the virus and everything that it triggered will result in numerous lawsuits that will overload the court system and eventually end up hurting businesses even more than the existing problems it faces due to the virus.
The Cabinet Office is asking that groups “act reasonably” when it comes to enforcing contracts and points out that an onslaught of disputes would be destructive in many ways for the country. They are calling on businesses to act fairly and responsibly. The more contract disputes that are settled through mediation outside of the courtroom the better for the business community.
An attorney familiar with the situation and who understands the ramifications of what is to come points out that mediating is not law, nor is the government saying that it is. He also points out that mediation is something a judge would have a right to consider the behavior of the parties involved in the dispute and look at whether or not either party was unwilling to attempt mediation. The courts want people to consider the bigger picture and attempt to be fair.
Businesses are also being encouraged to understand how pursuing a lawsuit instead of a mediation attempt will affect their reputations long-term. If all parties can work together to resolve a contract dispute, it will avoid the damage that will come from a long, drawn-out court battle that is directly tied to COVID-19 fallout.