Baltimore Family Business Conflicts

March 2, 2012    Workplace & Commercial Disputes - Mediation

The use of mediation in Baltimore family business conflicts and estate planning matters can improve client satisfaction, reduce the probability of litigation, and help estate-planning attorneys avoid a malpractice claim. Family relations can often be strained, from either long-standing disagreements, to feelings of distrust or competitiveness. Trying to make legal decisions without a neutral party, especially at an emotionally charged time, runs the risk of poor decision making. Participants are often grateful to an attorney who recommends mediation – it could be the best choice you make after a loved one dies.

In family business, it is rare that the owners or partners think that any of the company’s regular advisors are neutral. One family member almost always has more contact with the advisors than other family members. The advisors themselves may also have a conflict of interest in working out different agendas among their clients. Furthermore, lawyers in particular are trained to vigorously represent one individual over another –  different from mediators who work for the good of the entire group.

The benefits of using mediation for disputes arising from Baltimore family business conflicts are many. Mediation holds a better chance at reconciliation because a mediator is impartial and non-judgmental. Only mediation provides for self-determination.  There are also socio-emotional complexities in family business. Children who inherit a business with siblings as partners may be unwilling to raise emotionally laden issues. In working with a Baltimore mediation mediator, the mediator communicates with everyone on an individual basis. The mediator helps the parties face and resolve important subjective issues that would otherwise become ‘landmines’, creating better outcomes for all.