Contract Disputes

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Contract Disputes – When Agreements Become Disagreements

business partners in the middle of a contract dispute

Disclaimer: This article on contract disputes is intended for the purposes of providing information only and is to be used only for the purposes of guidance. This article is not intended to be relied upon as the giving of legal advice and does not purport to be exhaustive.

If you have been in business for a while, you know this unsettling truth – contract disputes often happen. If you’re currently facing a contract dispute, it’s important to know your options to make the best decision for your situation.

Contract disputes can be a huge headache for businesses. When two or more parties enter into a contract, and one party fails to live up to their end of the bargain, it can lead to all sorts of problems.

This blog post will discuss what you should do if you are in a contract dispute. We will also cover the differences between mediation, arbitration, and litigation so that you can make an informed decision about how to proceed.

Our litigation experience informs how we approach drafting contracts. At Beeksma Law, we believe that a well-written contract is the best way to avoid contract disputes. Whether you are looking to have a contract drafted or reviewed or want advice on dealing with a dispute, we can help. Contact us today.

Avoiding Contract Disputes Before They Arise

The best way to deal with contract disputes is to avoid them altogether. This means having a well-written contract, having difficult conversations before beginning your business arrangement and being clear about your objectives and expectations.

Contract disputes can be a huge headache for businesses. Not only will you have to spend time and money resolving the issue, but contract disputes can also damage relationships and be a major distraction from running your business.

Think About The Big Picture

Simply put, contract disputes happen when one party to a contract fails to live up to their obligations. This can be for a number of reasons, from misunderstanding the contract terms to not being able to fulfill the contract for some reason. Whatever the cause, contract disputes can have a major impact on businesses.

Before taking any action, it’s important that you take a step back. Contract disputes can quickly become emotionally charged, especially if a lot of money is at stake. It’s important to consider the big picture and the best outcome for your business.

dispute resolution to resolve a contract dispute

Consider Your Options

When addressing a contract dispute, you will generally have four options: negotiation, mediation, arbitration, or litigation. Let’s take a look at each of these in more detail.

Of course, you will first want to review your contract.  In many cases, the contract will outline how to deal with a dispute. For example, the contract might require that you first attempt mediation before moving on to arbitration or litigation. If your contract is silent on the matter, you will have more flexibility in deciding how to proceed.


Before moving on to formal dispute resolution processes,  it’s always worth attempting to negotiate a resolution with the other party. This can be done informally, or you can even hire a contract lawyer to help resolve the situation.

If you can come to an agreement through negotiation, it will save you time and money. Moreover, it can help preserve your relationship with the other party and put the matter to rest quickly.


Mediation is a process where the parties to a contract dispute meet with a neutral third party, known as a mediator. The mediator’s job is to help the parties reach an agreement that is acceptable to both sides.

One of the main advantages of mediation is that it can be much faster and less expensive than arbitration or litigation. However, mediation is not binding, meaning either party can walk away from the mediation without reaching an agreement.

Additionally, mediation allows you to get to the underlying problem. While litigation will focus on the issue at hand, mediation can help you identify the root cause of the contract dispute and find a way to prevent it from happening again in the future.


Arbitration is similar to mediation in that it is a process where the parties to a contract dispute meet with a neutral third party, known as an arbitrator. However, unlike mediation, arbitration is binding. This means both parties must comply with the arbitrator’s decision.

Arbitration can be a good option if you want a faster and less expensive alternative to litigation, but you still want the contract dispute to be resolved definitively.


If mediation and arbitration fail, or if either party is unwilling to participate in those processes, the only option is litigation. This involves filing a lawsuit in court and letting a judge or jury decide the outcome of the contract dispute.

Litigation can be time-consuming and expensive and carries quite a bit of risk. Even with a strong case, there’s no guarantee that you will win in court.

What to Do When Agreements Become Disagreements

Contract disputes happen, even when both parties have the best of intentions. If you find yourself in a contract dispute, be sure to take the time to understand your options and what is best for your business.

While you may want to resolve the issue yourself, the longer you wait, the more likely it is to escalate. It’s important to get professional help as soon as possible to increase your chances of reaching a resolution that is acceptable to both sides.

Speaking to a lawyer allows you to understand your legal rights and obligations and the other party’s. Additionally, taking action early on can prevent can save relationships,  time, and money down the road.

At Beeksma Law, we pride ourselves on seeing the entire picture.  We understand that contract disputes can have a significant impact on businesses. Our contract lawyers will work with you to find the best solution for your specific case and help you protect your interests. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.