Mediation vs. Litigation

Hardly ever is it sound business practice simply to ignore a dispute, but how should you proceed?

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Disputes arise with an alarming frequency in the horse business. They can range from something relatively minor, such as a misunderstanding over a feed bill, to a problem serious enough to threaten the continued existence of your business, such as alleged liability for a career-ending injury to a valuable show horse in your care.

Hardly ever is it sound business practice simply to ignore a dispute, but how should you proceed?

The response from one party to a disagreement, or often from both parties, reflects the increasingly litigious nature of our society–a lawsuit. This might or might not be appropriate, however, depending upon the nature of the dispute, the relationship between the parties, and other factors.

There are options that might allow you to reach a mutually agreeable solution with the other party before going to court, and you do yourself a great disservice if your automatic response to every disagreement is to rush to the telephone and dial "1-800-will-sue

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Written by:

Milt Toby was an author and attorney who wrote about horses and legal issues affecting the equine industry for more than 40 years. Former Chair of the Kentucky Bar Association’s Equine Law Section, Toby wrote 10 nonfiction books, including national award winners Dancer’s Image and Noor. You can read more about him at

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