When parties cannot resolve a situation outside of the courtroom, the winning party has already been declared — the attorneys. With all respect to their professions, both parties ultimately end up loosing in court. Yes, one of them will walk out of a courtroom as the prevailing party, however even they loose. Their cost of time and money, distraction and emotional input cannot be recovered.
Beyond your own personal loss, there is also the possibility of public and customer prospective. Regardless of who wins, the fact that your company is involved in a case may cause your customers to become uneasy. If you’re bringing action against a client, it will cause your other clients to be weary, likewise if your going after a former employee. Alternately, if you are the target of an action, then they may hear more about the false claims or acquisitions, well before they hear the outcome of the litigation.
The best way to resolve all situations is outside of the courtroom. If that takes place informally, or perhaps through a formal mediation service. Finally, there is always the opportunity for a last ditch effort on the day of court.
Finally, be fully aware of what you are willing to accept – and what areas are open to compromise. Be realistic about your expectations. Obviously they already know your demands, so you will not likely have all of your needs met, so decide was you’d be willing to flex on.