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Choosing a Mediator

There’s normally a few good articles each week explaining the benefits of mediation, this one is particularly good setting out as it does from start to finish the process for choosing your mediator (of course we would say the easy way is to email Northwest Mediation or ring us on 07931318347).

One of the many benefits of mediation is its flexibility, which includes there being no set methodology for selection, so, as this article sets out, do you want a mediator with experience of the specific industry or subject or someone who is unfamiliar enough so that there can be no possible risk of judgment or assessment of your case?

At Northwest Mediation our mediators know the law, they know business practice and procedure, they know property rights and neighbourhood issues, they know inheritance law and have vast experience in claims.

But you do not need to have a mediator who has specific knowledge of your area of work, whether it be computer programming, car sales, building contracts or agriculture because the issues at stake and the methods to reaching a remedy are the same.

If years of working with claims and disputes and in mediations teaches you anything it’s that listening is the key to good outcome, whether it be hearing beyond the words of what is being said or listening out for where the parties have a common goal.

Once you’ve chosen your mediator (choose Northwest Mediation for mediators with experience) who do you choose to go with you?

Lawyers are sometimes a useful backup for clients, but not always, particularly in the interference they sometimes pose in relation to letting their clients speak openly (I reserve my worst criticism for lawyers who draft a position statement for their clients without any reference to the client and re-hashes the entirety of the court papers absolutely pointless but no doubt hours of work charged for).

Family members and friends are likewise important for moral support – but can also hold back clients if their own agendas are different, which is why whoever you bring to mediation must sign to understand the confidential nature of the process but who will also be questioned by your mediator to check their understanding and their thinking.

More often than not family and friends are incredibly helpful at mediation they will have been experiencing the same issue as the client but will have already been doing their best to cope with and resolve the conflict. You often hear the support confirm that what the mediator is saying is what they have been saying “all long” but hearing the comments from a completely independent source in an alternative dispute resolution process carries far more weight.

Timing of the mediation is equally easy – as early as possible in your dispute, the sooner you meaningfully address the issues the sooner you reach resolution and move on. As to time of the day? Northwest Mediation has conducted mediations at breakfast, lunch and dinner time (although being Northwest Mediation we like to call that tea-time), and yes we work late into the night and all over the weekend when needed.

I’ve just got back from Ireland where I notice the man known as the garda whistle blower, Sergeant Maurice McCabe is to enter mediation to try to resolve his damages claims against various state bodies through mediation.

Those state bodies include former garda commissioner Martin Callinan, the current garda commissioner, the attorney general, the justice minister.

The current court proceedings include an application for default judgment as the defendants failed to file any defences.

Pre-issue disclosures during tribunal proceedings which McCabe brought against the Garda determined that Callinan and his colleague Superintendent David Taylor had pursued a “campaign of calumny” against McCabe in order to defame and threaten McCabe after he disclosed serious misconduct in the garda itself.

Threats included postings online of a plastic rate pin-cushioned with darts with McCabe’s name written on it, McCabe has since expressed regret at having become a whistleblower.

Hopefully the mediation will allow him to bring some conclusion to the matters which only arose because he was prepared to speak out.

Not Manchester in the Northwest of England (where Northwest Mediation is based) but a Manchester reference none the less and another property mediation, and yes that's Stockport's viaduct not Manchester but it's close.

Developer William Grau owner of the Snider Ford/Sonshine and the Manchester Hotel in Butler County has been ordered to mediation with the City of Middletown over ownership of the buildings themselves.

The claim arises from the City’s attempts to take back ownership of the buildings for failure by Grau’s organisation (Historic Urban Development) to complete the developments as agreed. The City originally sold the properties subject to the development plans for $1 million on the basis that Grau had promised to invest a further $10 million in the sites.

It is hoped that despite a rather bitter relationship having developed between Grau and the City officials mediation can reach a resolution that works for both parties, and the citizens of Middletown.

Over in Guam mediation is also being proposed in a dispute being dealt with by the Port Authority.

The Rory Respicio the new port general manager asked the port authority to consider mediation as a way forward in the case of YTK Corps $17 million legal case.

Eduardo "Champ" Calvo, owner of YTK Corp also owns SelectCare for whom Respicio has worked before but both sides claim there is no conflict of interest in Respicio’s request.

Mediators must remain unbiased and been seen to be unbiased as well, if one party feels the mediator is on the side to the other (or their own) it can be difficult (though not impossible) to overcome) so it’s important to make sure that whoever becomes involved in the mediation is impartial and that any approach to mediate is done so openly.

In this case the board have expressed concerns that they weren’t told of the potential mediation before Respicio announced it.

Respicio said "It's my duty to potentially mitigate this $17 million fee…A $17 million judgment would increase tariffs, and that would cause all other costs to go up." Giving his reasons for wanting mediation he added "Are we 100 percent sure we're going to win the case? No. Are we 100 percent sure we're going to lose the case? No, but the reality is that we're the ones spending money by litigating these cases. Is there a possibility of settlement?"

In response Maria Taitano for the board said "We the board should know in advance that this is happening…We already have a decision made to go through the legal process." (not that this would be a bar to mediation of course)

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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