Non-formal dispute resolution

February 01, 2019
Written by: Kristen Steele, DUKE Law Intern

Non-Formal dispute resolution mechanisms can be a good alternative to formal dispute resolution methods such as arbitration or litigation, which can be time consuming and expensive. One benefit of this method is to ensure that all parties involved in a dispute will maintain confidentiality because it encourages all parties to keep all material information to themselves. A second is that the parties have a higher degree of control over these kinds of proceedings. The two most common forms of non-formal dispute resolution include the following:

Negotiation

Negotiation involves two or more parties who enter into a discussion or deliberation with the goal of reaching an agreement or resolving a dispute by means of compromise, making negotiation the least formal dispute resolution mechanism available. However, given that there is no facilitator over these negotiations, if the parties cannot come to an agreement of their own volition, the negotiations will fail.

Mediation

Mediation is like negotiation, but it includes facilitation by a neutral third-party commonly known as a mediator. A drawback is that the mediator, and not the parties themselves, will determine how formal the proceedings will be.
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Sometimes it’s hard to translate business problems into legal questions, which is why DUKE Heights BIA made the process as seamless as possible through DUKE Law. From our partnership with Osgoode Hall Law School, we are offering businesses in the BIA this legal information service free of charge. Go ahead, ask your business question with the reassurance that it will be answered by a dedicated team of trained specialists at any time. Ask your question today at dukeheights.ca/law

What kind of contract does my business need?

Dec 20, 2018

Written by: Christopher Dias, DUKE Law Intern

Contracts are an integral part of any business, dealing with crucial issues such as money and relationships between people. There are several contractual agreements to consider when starting or growing a business:

signing-contractLease

This is a vital contract for businesses that require a physical space. When negotiating a lease agreement, consider whether the space fits the needs of the business and if the lease term is of a sufficient length (with a right to extend the term, if necessary).1,2

Loan Agreement

Borrowing money is a likely reality when starting or growing a business. Many businesses take out loans from banks or other financial institutions in the form of a contractual agreement, so things like payment schedules and the right to prepay the loan without penalty may be important when considering where to obtain a loan, among other considerations.3

Employment Contract

If a business requires the assistance of other people, then employment contracts must be signed by everyone that is hired. These agreements often take the form of offer letters that detail the responsibilities of the role, its salary/benefits, and a host of other stipulations.4 Depending on the nature of the business, a confidentiality agreement may also be necessary.5

There are a variety of other contracts to consider when looking to start or grow a business. For more information on what a contract is and how they operate.6

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1 https://www.forbes.com/sites/allbusiness/2016/02/03/10-essential-contracts-for-small-and-growing-businesses/#4ff6c6ef1aa3
2 For further information on lease considerations visit: Ibid.
3 Ibid;
4 Ibid.
5 Ibid.
6 https://www.canadaone.com/ezine/june2010/business_contracts.html

Do I need a lawyer to start a business?

small-business-help

small-business-help

Written by: Shally Malik, DUKE Law Intern
November 20, 2018

Lawyers can help businesses navigate the legal waters associated with being a business owner. Determining whether a business requires a lawyer is often dependent on the complexity of the case. For example, entrepreneurs developing businesses on their own can decide between operating as a sole proprietorship or as a corporation; whereas, businesses with more than one founder may operate as a partnership or similarly as a corporation. The complexities of registering as a corporation opposed to a sole proprietorship can be intimidating enough to warrant the assistance of a lawyer right from the start. However, regardless of the business structure an entrepreneur ultimately chooses, hiring a lawyer can make the process of drawing up legal contracts, leases, buying existing businesses, seeking equity financing and more, much easier.
Free legal information like DUKE Law can help startups, small-to-medium-sized enterprises and social enterprises get over many of the legal hurdles they might face when starting a new business. Still, when more than just general legal information is needed, a lawyer would be able to give customized legal advice that fits the legal situation.
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Sometimes it’s hard to translate business problems into legal questions, which is why DUKE Heights BIA made the process as seamless as possible through DUKE Law. From our partnership with Osgoode Hall Law School, we are offering businesses in the BIA this legal information service free of charge. Go ahead, ask your business question with the reassurance that it will be answered by a dedicated team of trained specialists at any time.
Ask your question today at dukeheights.ca/law

Labor Trends That Will Impact Your Company’s Diversity

Glassdoor.com recently released their list of the best jobs in America for 2019. The report reveals the 50 best jobs based on a job score that was determined by analyzing job earning potential, median annual base salary, job satisfaction scores and the number of job openings. Software engineer was the most in-demand job on the list and the highest-paid job on the list was software engineering manager.