Trade secrets mediation in Houston Texas is often difficult because it involves a great degree of distrust between the parties. However, trade secrets mediation in Houston Texas often provides better results than litigation that is time-consuming and costly, so it is important to follow these guidelines to help make your experience with mediation a successful one:
In trade secrets cases, it is important to mediate the dispute as early as possible. Mediation is confidential, so nothing said during mediation can be disclosed. Additionally, it is private unlike the nature of a public courtroom. Mediating early can help prevent the public disclosure of confidential information and may help resolve issues where this information is being misappropriated.
Be Open to New Ideas
Courts are rarely creative with their rulings. However, mediation does not have to be bound by the traditional rules by the court. Parties may be able to think about creative solutions to their legal issues, such as licensing deals or restrictive contracts.
Bring Settlement Authority
It is vital that if a settlement is reached during mediation all parties necessary to authorize the settlement must be present during mediation.
Carefully Select a Mediator
Choose a mediator who has ample experience in trade secrets cases. A mediator working on a case of this nature can explain that even if a party was successful in acquiring a temporary restraining order does not mean that he or she will be successful in obtaining an injunction or damages. A mediator who has experience in this realm will also provide greater credibility to the process.
Trade secrets mediation in Houston TX is often complex cases that may be emotionally triggered, too. When a business owner invests in a business, he or she often puts everything into it. If he or she believes that information is being misappropriated, the result may be extreme. Trade secrets mediation in Houston TX can help the parties resolve their case in an amicable manner. However, in order to accomplish this goal, the parties must be able to communicate effectively.
Communication barriers disrupt the dialogue between the parties and may even escalate conflict. When a barrier exists between the parties, a party may feel defensive and may react negatively to what the other party says. Some examples of communication barriers include:
- You statements – these are blaming statements that say that you are the cause of the problem
- Judging statements – these statements are often based on incorrect and negative assumptions
- Self-serving biases – By viewing the facts related to the case only from one party’s own perspective, that party feels victimized and has no trust in the other party
- Attribution error – This occurs when one party attributes some type of negative characteristic to the other party that is not accurate
- Poor interpersonal communication – Communication of this nature may cause face-losing interactions that create a barrier to communication
Mediators know about these common communication barriers and will use various methods to help break them down. This increases the likelihood that the parties will be able to work out a mutually beneficial outcome to their case. At the beginning of mediation, the mediator establishes ground rules regarding the proper conduct of the parties. Additionally, if he or she believes that the parties will not communicate well together during any stage of the mediation, he or she employs the use of private caucuses in which the mediator meets one-on-one with each party separate from the other party. The mediator can often discern the message of the party but relay it in a more approachable way to the other party. The mediator also helps clear up misunderstandings that may be standing in the way of an agreement.
Trade secret cases involve a number of different situations. They may stem from an employee’s breach of an agreement or a careless error that revealed confidential business information. Regardless of the nature of the trade secret claim, trade secrets mediation in Houston Texas offers a variety of benefits to both sides. Trade secrets mediation in Houston Texas has been used to settle a number of these claims.
Businesses enjoy the privacy guarantees that trade secrets mediation provides. Business owners and managers prefer to keep their businesses out of any litigation, for fear that it will damage the business’ reputation and prevent it from entering any new deals with other organizations. Since mediation may be scheduled prior to filing a lawsuit, business clients may be able to resolve a dispute before it is ever public record. These business clients would also prefer to discuss the nature of the claim in the confidential setting of mediation, as opposed to the public forum of a courtroom.
If certain individuals, such as employees or former employees, are involved in a trade secrets case, they will also appreciate the more relaxed setting that mediation provides. These individuals would much rather attempt to mediate the case instead of being subjected to relentless cross-examination from the company’s attorneys on the witness stand. Additionally, rather than waiting a ruling at the end of the case, these parties maintain a degree of control as to how the case is resolved. Such power is not provided in court.
Trade secrets mediation has a tendency to be a little bit trickier and more complicated than the types of cases mediators usually handle. It is highly advised that, if your client needs trade secrets mediation in Houston Texas, they find a very talented and highly experienced mediator.
Due to the fact that trade secrets cases tend to involve high levels of suspicion and distrust in all parties involved, privacy and confidentiality are very desirable in mediation. It falls on the shoulders of an experienced mediator to help set the tone for parties to communicate with one another and maintain an acceptable level of trust.
In many trade secrets cases going into mediation, the most effective method is to have the mediator caucus with the parties, shuttling back and forth between two separate rooms. It’s a myth that parties have to meet together at the same table to resolve issues. While this can be the chosen approach for mediating a trade secret dispute, it’s not the only way. Having the mediator present options and help parties’ work through complicated issues is a valuable exercise for individuals concerned about privacy.
If you’re retaining a mediator for trade secrets mediation in Houston Texas, you need to retain a mediator with experience in the industry. The more comfortable the parties feel disclosing information, the faster and more effectively the issues can get settled.
Mediation is more likely to be successful when you’re prepared for it properly. What follows are some of the top tips for getting your client ready for mediation when you are involved in a Houston trade secret dispute. Doing your homework ahead of time and knowing what to expect can prove extremely valuable.
Work on Some Level of Trust
By definition, trade secret disputes often have roots in lack of trust. Being successful in mediation, though, requires that both parties are willing to come to the table to discuss potential outcomes. Having an agreement that both parties will act in good faith could set the right tone for this process. Prepare your client for this.
Explain The Appropriate Trade Secret Definition To Your Client
You should always be aware of what’s actually considered a trade secret in your area. Reviewing relevant case law and making sure your case fits this definition (or not, depending on your role in the dispute) can help address concerns upfront and either move resolution along or cause the other party to realize a possible lack of legal standing.
Have Your Client Bring Evidence
Make sure you have your evidence, which should be collected fully before your client engages in the actual mediation process. Keep it organized so that it’s simple to reference or locate the pertinent data in the mediation session. This alone makes the conversations move more quickly towards resolution.