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Mediation, it's more a set of guidelines

Even the famous and fabulous recognise the benefits of mediation.

Everyone’s second favourite Pirate Captain, Geoffrey Rush, has attended mediation in a defamation case against the Daily Telegraph at Sydney’s federal court.

On the other side of the mediation table was Jonathon Moran.

Rush, now 66 and described by his lawyer Nicholas Pullen as “virtually housebound”, is suing Nationwide News and Moran over allegations, which he wholly rejects, that he behaved inappropriately towards an unnamed female during his run as King Lear at the Sydney Theatre Company in 2015.

Rush says the articles accused him of being a pervert and a sexual predator when no allegations of a sexual nature had been made.

Pullen added that since the allegations emerged Rush has struggled to eat or sleep and when wakes does so with a “terrible sense of dread”

Justice Michael Wigney listed the case for mediation in April and the mediation commenced yesterday.

After his release from jail, where he was serving time for bribery and obstruction, Ehud Olmert former Israeli Prime Minister has now been hired as a mediator in, of all things, an arms deal.

The deal (which sounds like it comes straight out of Bond) is between arms companies Shinadze (based in Georgia) and Milo, owned by former mayor of Tel Aviv Roni Milo.

The dispute (denied by Milo) is that Milo stopped promoting deals via Shinadze in 2015, after 7 years of working “harmoniously”. The failure to co-operate further is said to have cost Shinadze tens of millions of shekels. Milo says it was entitled to withdraw co-operation when Shionadze changed owners without telling them.

Remember back in January I blogged about mediation regarding the pollution of the Housatonic River near Pittsfield? Well now the five towns making up the “Rest of River Municipal Committee” has agreed it will take part in the mediation efforts which had already begun.

The impasse is over the clean up of potential cancerous PCBs and the talks are now focusing on the hotspots in the 10 mile stretch of the river near the Lee-Lenox area.

June saw the boards of the towns of Lenox, Lee, Stockbridge, Great Barrington and Sheffield give authority to their representatives to bind them to any agreement achieved in the mediation.

General Electric Co, who owned the site from which the PCBs have come has been in talks with the Environmental Protection Agency for years following the river’s near death.

Hopes are high that the mediation will avoid the potentially hugely expensive and even longer federal court case for the $613 million which focuses on the 15 year plan to dredge and removing the 1.4 million tons of contaminated river sediment.

GE still favours burying the extracted sediment locally at a landfill site.

Stockbridge Finance Committee’s, Stephen Shatz, said "The EPA has suggested strongly to the five communities involved in this project that we enter into nonbinding mediation of the issues with General Electric…As you can imagine, General Electric does not wish to move the sediments to a site out-of-state and dispose of them there". Attorney Matthew Pawa represents the five towns, he has a background in environmental law and has served as counsel for the Rest of River panel for many years.

Over in Amman Russian negotiators are meeting with the Syrian opposition in a Jordanian mediation with a view to ending the ongoing conflict.

Talks failed on Saturday when the Russian contingent demanded a complete surrender, not unusual in a mediation to face one side who is demanding and intractable at the start so hopefully the talks in Busra al Sham will see some movement.

Finally over on the Archers, by the way, why has no one suggested mediation over the land sale causing Kate and Brian (ad the rest of the partners) so much anguish? Family companies are one of the growth areas for mediation, as it involves ongoing relationships and suppressed issues which really need the help of a mediator.

Northwest Mediation can help with any dispute whether it's an employment issue or the sale at an under value of a property, a fight with a neighbour, family issues, commercial disputes or inheritance arguments contact Northwest Mediation on 07931318347 or via email at

neighbour mediation; commercial dispute resolution; commercial dispute; corporate dispute; commercial mediator; family mediation; inheritance mediation; property mediator;

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