How California Court Budget Cuts Could Affect Your Business

California is in the third year of cuts, and the state’s courts are taking a $660 million hit: $350 million in the latest budget cuts and another $310 million originally earmarked for court construction that is being diverted to the State’s General Fund. Complex litigation departments which handle business trials will be closed or cut back, and many cases will marinate as statutory time limits approach 1.

Closed courts and delayed hearings mean a dispute could sit unresolved or even unheard for over 5 years, all the while your business is incurring attorney fees and experiencing business disruption. The current economic climate now forces businesses to evaluate if the stakes are worth the higher legal expense for litigation, possibly take a loss of the stakes in dispute, or investigate new avenues of dispute resolution. What to do when a dispute arrives or faces long process delays:

  1. Evaluate the stakes involved.
  2. Estimate the costs to your organization to resolve in litigation, arbitration, or mediation, including business interruption time. How much does litigation cost?
  3. If the answer to 2. approaches or exceeds 1., contact Just Resolve for a swift, principled, fixed fee dispute resolution alternative that works for both sides.
  4. Pursue whatever dispute resolution method is both rational in that instance and acceptable to all parties.
  5. Capitalize on the opportunity to evaluate your contract management business practices. Could the dispute have been prevented with proactive contract commitment management? Could the dispute have been identified earlier, before it escalated? Is there an alternative resolution process that should be part of all contracts? Does the business have clear steps to take when a dispute does arise?

Developing contract and dispute practices that are sustainable over the long term and not dependent on state budgets, limitations of small claims courts, and adversarial resolution processes, can be the difference between a profitable growing business and one that struggles to maintain desired cash flow, even if business is growing.

More to read

NDR on Demand: What Happens When a Contract Doesn’t Specify How a Dispute Will Be Resolved?

The best way to deter threats of litigation and minimize the costs, duration, and distractions of resolving any dispute is to put a dispute resolution clause specifying NDR — Neutral-Driven Resolution — in all your contracts BEFORE there is a problem. That means that if a dispute should arise between a business and a contractor,…

Continue reading about NDR on Demand: What Happens When a Contract Doesn’t Specify How a Dispute Will Be Resolved?

They Said NDR Would Never Work. They Were Wrong.

Many people are surprised by how effective NDR can be.   Since publishing my book and speaking at events about NDR (Neutral-Driven Resolution), I’ve often been asked a simple question: Does it work? And if it really does lower the costs and the time it takes to settle common disputes, why doesn’t everybody know about…

Continue reading about They Said NDR Would Never Work. They Were Wrong.

“Morgan Hill author releases new book”

The Morgan Hill Times featured Rob’s new book in an article ahead of his “Meet the Author” night at Booksmart. “Legal disputes and conflicts cost businesses billions of dollars a year in lawyers’ fees, lost productivity, time and aggravation. A new book by Morgan Hill author Robert Christopher proposes an innovative, faster and simpler way…

Continue reading about “Morgan Hill author releases new book”

Not All Disputes are Equal

Not all business and legal disputes are alike, and not all of them can be resolved in the same way. In writing my book Just Right: How Neutral-Driven Resolution Can Close the Gap in American Civil Justice, it was important to distinguish the types of common disputes for which NDR is most suitable.  As readers…

Continue reading about Not All Disputes are Equal