I had a one party in a mediation this week say that they felt like the pig in eggs and bacon (or ham and eggs if you prefer your metaphors more American) whereas the other party were the chicken, the first party was absolutely invested in the situation and had to deal with it whereas the other party had an interest but not an investment.
It was an interesting metaphor which said more about how they viewed themselves and the other party than about the actual situation, I have always found that all parties who come to a mediation are invested in the outcome, though hopefully unlike the pig they’ve not been carved up and cooked until crispy.
Whilst you certainly can find yourself and clients getting frazzled at the early stages of a mediation, and some clients take gentle turning under a controlled heat to find the best resolution I don’t think anyone’s ever been overcooked so perhaps the better metaphor for most clients is that they’re all part of a sausage, some meat, some casing, some sage (Lincolnshire bias showing) and some bread all important and invested in the whole result although with different strengths and interests.
In this report the two sides are definitely invested in the outcome. Retired Judge Randall Newsome has been appointed a mediator by Judge Dennis Montali to mediate between rival groups trying to take control of the The Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) which went into bankruptcy in January following claims totalling millions of dollars arising form the wild fires that their equipment started (not the current devastation we’ve seen but the previous 2017s).
You may have read that they have been shutting off power to avoid further wild fires rather than fix the problems, and they’ve been heavily criticised for leaving thousands without power across the state of California. The problem doesn’t seem to have prevented the Kincaid fire which was caused during the power shut down!
Hopefully Randall will be able to bring the competing sides to a sensible conclusion that will protect investors but also the claims made on behalf of those who lost their lives and for those whose properties were damages in the 2017 blazes.
And whilst in this case the person who allegedly committed the acts is no longer around the university he worked for is invested in the outcome, though the abused victims will perhaps feel that they are much more so having suffered over the years as a result of the alleged abuse.
You may recall we blogged previously about the allegations of sex abuse brought against Ohio State University for the actions of the late doctor Richard Strauss, matters have been stalled for some time but are now back on track for further mediation involving over 200 former students.
We (mediators) all have an vested interest in making mediation a priority for the international community and the 6th Istanbul mediation conference titled “International Peace Mediation: Taking Stock and Looking Ahead” is pressing for that to be a key area of work.
An unnamed Turkish foreign office official said “Turkey is already in various aspects of classical mediation. Besides, we are doing something that not many countries do. We are also trying to develop mediation as capacity, as a norm in international organizations. For example, what is mediation in the U.N., how to do good mediation, how to train mediators, and how an international organization supports mediation processes, the grounds of these rules are based on four U.N. General Assembly resolutions”.
If they’re happy to pay the travel costs I’ll be happy to come do some teaching.
Istanbul will also be hosting the 3rd Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Member States Conference this month.
Lots of parties have vested interest in school teacher disputes (maybe the parents are the sausages, the staff the bacon, the kids the baked beans or tomatoes). In this case the Acushnet Teachers Association were unwilling to accept contract and terms offered by the education board so all parties have sensibly opted for mediation as the way to resolving their differences.
Here the mediation comes before the declaration of a vested interest by the Stigmatine Fathers (a branch which of faith stems from the Jesuits). The Fathers have yet to even challenge the ownership by the city of a plot of land, in Waltham, Massachusetts. The request for mediation came as the court dismissed the City’s attempt to cut short the 3 years the sect have to challenge ownership. A challenge which would prevent the City developing the site.
As we’ve said before choose to mediate early and resolve your issues effectively, timeously, and with less stress and costs than going to your solicitor. You’re already the bacon, you’re invested in the dispute, you have an interest in the outcome the sooner you get round the mediation table the quicker you can move forward and avoid the grilling a cross examination in court would put you through.
By having a deep and meaningful discussions with parties the mediator elicits what the true “red-lines” are and where there is the potential for compromise, it is with this structured period of reflection that the parties are then able to reach an accord.
The flexible nature of mediation and the possible outcomes make it an ideal way to resolve disputes in an ever changing world and the open nature of discussions in mediation whilst remaining confidential allows all sides to engage fully in the process and understand the needs of all involved allowing parties to reach a conclusion which both sides can live with and move on.
There are so many situations 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, 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 (contact and financial during separation or divorce), commercial disputes, civil mediation or inheritance, wills and probate arguments contact Northwest Mediation on 07931318347 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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