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  • Ed

If at first you don't succeed

There has been a long running dispute in Maryland regarding the under-funding of black colleges in comparison to those colleges who have predominantly white attendees.

Several attempts have been made at mediation, and now the judges on the circuit court of appeals have directed a further round of mediation talks aimed at concluding the issues.

“The Court is of the firm conviction that this case can and should be settled…Otherwise, the parties will likely condemn themselves to endless years of acrimonious, divisive and expensive litigation that will only work to the detriment of higher education in Maryland."

Previously (2013) the state had been found to have an unconstitutional divided system of dual and segregated education (separate but not equal).

The state Governor Larry Hogan has said he is willing to spend $100 million to resolve this problem, however attempts previously made including niche areas to encourage all comers to join the historically black schools have not been received positively.

A spokesperson for the governor said “We remain interested in reaching an agreement that will conclude the case in a way that is fair and equitable for Maryland's college students" whilst lawyer for the colleges involved (Bowie State University, Coppin State University, Morgan State University and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore) Jon Greenbaum said “Hopefully, we'll get to the point where the state will view this case differently than it has up until now”

Whilst it is disappointing that no resolution has yet been achieved it is further evidence of the belief that the court systems around the world have that mediation will work, even if it takes several attempts to do so. The parties in this case have until the 30/4/19 to find a solution. Northwest Mediation has been involved in several disputes where additional meetings have been needed after the first session of mediation, sometimes the parties simply aren't ready to reach an agreement in that first time slot in others they need more time to work out what the valuations of items in dispute are but whenever we are re-approached for a further mediation or reconvene after an adjourned mediation we know that the parties are even more keen to reach a settlement, and in virtually every case do so with our guidance.

We continue with evidence that mediation is the best way to resolve disputes even of the most serious nature with news that Norway’s prime minister Erna Solberg, who we’ve mentioned before in blogs, has offered to be the mediator between Pakistan and India. She said that the request had to come from the parties involved but that Norway’s historical involvement in peace talks puts it in the fore of any such discussions.

The PM during her trip to India acknowledged that an armed conflict was not going to be the solution which achieved a lasting result and that her country stands ready to assist in the Kashmir dispute, an issue which dates back at least as late as the division in 1947.

You may recall we’ve spoken about mediation by priests on the island of Ireland which helped achieve the good Friday agreement in that long running bloody dispute, perhaps here as well there is a role for mediators whether from outside government or internal peace makers to achieve something similar.

Meanwhile in Ottawa a three party mediation is taking place over the disputed plans for the new Ottawa Senators' Arena and community area.

The three parties are developers GBA Development and Project Management, Trinity Development Group and owner of the senators Eugene Melnyk.

Graham Bird of GBA persuaded all the parties to begin mediation talks regarding the use of Le Breton Flats, controlled by the crown.

Bird said "IllumiNation LeBreton is too important to fail, and is worth salvaging…We are hopeful that the parties can take this opportunity to keep the project moving forward."

If no resolution can be reached the crown has already indicated it will look to resolve the dispute by other means, so here's hoping that they manage to reach agreement.

An update on our previous report about district health boards (DHBs) in New Zealand and potential striking by doctors now the 3000 medics involved are able to begin mediation as the DHBs have agreed to enter two days of mediation talks this week.

The strikes remain scheduled for next week pending a resolution.

There are so many cases which could have been resolved by early intervention of mediation it continues to surprise me the lengths the public (and some lawyers) will go to avoid referral.

Whether you need a mediator to help out with a construction matter in the Northwest, or council’s plans in Cheshire, a civil mediator in London, a commercial mediator in Manchester, a dispute resolution for your family in Liverpool, a neighborhood mediation in Stockport, then our mediators at Northwest Mediation can help.

Mediation is cheaper, quicker and less stressful than running any case to court, it 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; civil mediation; commercial dispute; corporate dispute; commercial mediator; family mediation; inheritance mediation; property mediator; civil mediator; civil litigation; fast track mediation; injury mediation

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