top of page
  • Ed

Mediation for Art's sake

In an action involving the proposed large scale mine in Bristol Bay (Alaska) brought by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the parties are considering mediation.

Now the fact that the new President Elect has suggested he’ll do away with the EPA shouldn’t detract from the good news that mediation is still one of the first steps used to avoid costly litigation. The preparations for court will go ahead whilst the mediation is arranged and carried out so that no time is wasted in progressing the matter.

The problems arise from Pebble Limited’s plans to build a copper, gold and molybdenum mine (yes I googled it too).

The EPA is seeking to enforce it’s authority (section 404 (c) of the clean Water Act) to ensure that water sites are kept clean and any developments avoid adverse effects on wildlife and water supplies.

The EPA have said it “remains committed to protecting the unique and valuable Bristol Bay fishery and way of life and stands behind the process it has started to ensure protection of this watershed….[and] also remains open to alternatives to litigation to resolve disputes, including mediation, which the Alaska court requires parties to consider.”

Meanwhile on the other coast of America Hewlett Packard and Rhode Island state have been ordered to attend mediation regarding HP’s unfinished project to construct the state’s Motor Vehicles computer system, Frank Williams (a retired High Court Justice and local Rhode Islander) has been appointed mediator.

Now over here most mediations aren’t ordered they are entered into voluntarily, only really in the family court’s has mediation been judicially seen as an obligatory first step, but there becoming more areas where mediation is becoming the first port of call.

See for instance the art world. A report in the Times confirms the rise of mediation to deal with complex and costly disputes over ownership.

“This year the Arbitration Chamber of Milan launched a new venture to promote alternative dispute resolution methods in the field of art and cultural property. The initiative has been warmly welcomed by all art market players as a useful alternative and efficient method of resolving conflicts amicably — avoiding lengthy and expensive proceedings in Italian courts. And within just a few months, the chamber has successfully mediated several cases in the field of modern and contemporary art. More significantly, the initiative has received strong endorsement from the national associations of both art galleries and antiques dealers”

As the Times reports the common interest of the parties, to save costs, time and future working relationships means that even in case with the most complex factual background mediation is the way forward.

If you have a commercial dispute that you would like dealing with at a fraction of the cost of taking the matter to court call Ed Johnson at Northwest Mediation on 07931318347 or via email at

6 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page