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ESP in mediation?

I spotted the headline using the phrases “ESP” and “mediation” and thought “yeah you’re right you do sometimes feel like you need a sixth sense to work things out in a mediation”.

Whether it’s an awareness of body language, the inflexion in a response or the look in a client’s eye that tells you something needs more comment or investigation to find a way forward these are all signs an experienced mediator like ours at Northwest Mediation are trained to spot and can work with, it’s not truly a sixth sense and we positively avoid using our “gut instincts” as these are so often preconceptions and in this case the ESP in question isn’t a sixth sense either.

This is a tale of Educational Service Professions continuing the use of mediation in their training and dispute. Sadly you will need ESP to read the link if you’re in the UK as the GDPR prevents us downloading and reading the article!

Spreading the good news on mediation this week is Dominic Carmen who concludes with a checklist of what makes a good civil and commercial mediator:

  • listen carefully and don’t interrupt

  • appreciate exactly what the dispute is about

  • understand the needs of the people involved

  • can automatically be trusted and respected

  • are both proactive and engaged

  • deal with the complexity of the issues as well as the interpersonal dynamics

  • have considerable resilience which matches with their energy

  • keep calm in difficult situations but keep things moving at the same time

  • are able to read other people and to engage with them

  • have a strong personality but are sensitive to the personality of others.

In addition Dominic notes the increase of the use of mediation by corporations and just as important the success rate of mediation, 89% using the CEDR's figures from 2017/2018.

Whilst there will always be a place for lawyers in disputes mediation must surely be the sensible first option every time, whether using your head, your heart (or your ESP).

Down under lawyers for residents affected by Melbourne's Coolaroo Recycling Plant fire which burned for 11 days are taking their cases to mediation in an effort to reach an acceptable agreement between the SKM Services Pty Ltd and claimants.

Coolaroo and Dallas were showered in ash over the 11 days forcing residents to move out for the duration of the fire for fear of damage to health, acknowledging that mediated settlements have a wider scope than just damages lawyer for the claimants Brendan Prendergast of Maddens said “in addition to seeking recovery of their losses, the people of Coolaroo and Dallas are concerned that this distressing event is not repeated”

Over in Memphis the Tom Lee Park redesign dispute is also heading for mediation.

Mayor Jim Strickland has sought to get the parties “Memphis in May” and the Memphis River Parks Partnership together with an independent mediator to resolve the dispute over the redesign of the 30 acre site, currently expected to cost in the region of $70 million.

Principal objections are that Memphis in May does not want the roads near the site reduced from four to two lanes and are concerned that the development will limit the availability of space for the annual concerts.

Ray Pohlman of Memphis River Parks Partnership said that of the disputed plans “we all live in the same community it’s not us against them…a tremendous opportunity for Memphis” with representatives from M&M saying “we know there’s compromise out there it’s just a question of finding what those compromises are”.

The mediation led by retired Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Janice Holder will address the planning elements of the dispute but it has been agreed that the temporary relocation of the concert during development is not to be part of these discussions, although it would be astounding if they were not part of the wider mediation process as presumably that will be a concern of both parties but will need the involvement of the city itself in looking at alternative venues.

Back to encouraging noises from the legal world now with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators’ conference at Clayton Hotel, Lapp's Quay, Cork where delegates heard that Ireland’s 2017 Mediation Act has led to a significant increase in awareness and use of mediation as a method to resolve disputes outside of the court process.

Chair of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) Ireland, Keith Kelliher, said “Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) has undergone a transformation in Ireland over the last decade…

Since 2010 we have seen great strides in getting all aspects of ADR incorporated in Statute, with the introduction of the Arbitration Act 2010, the Construction Contracts Act 2013 and the Mediation Act 2017…As the world leading professional body for dispute avoidance and dispute management the CIArb aims to assist individuals and organisations in avoiding, managing and resolving conflict and ensuring that the highest standards of training and education in the field is available to those who wish to assist parties in achieving this goal...The forum was a testament to the desire to achieve this goal and to help in advancing the existence of and benefits of ADR.”

All good news we mediators in the UK will keep pushing for the same results.

Finally this week apologies if you were waiting with bated breath for our un-boxing the mediation and the mediator Vlog – it’s a work in progress, we’ll get there and let you know when it’s up and running.

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 neighbourhood 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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