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Mediation News & updates

After last week’s reference to Guinness we start this week in Ireland with Angela Kerins former head of the Rehab Group in Ireland who is appealing to the Irish government to enter mediation to deal with her claim for damages.

Her claim arises out of her treatment by the Dáil Public Accounts Committee. She alleges the questioning over her own expenses, pay and that of other Rehab members was little more than a with-hunt to oust her from office.

She is claiming for loss of earnings, car and other benefits as well as pension loss to the age of retirement (she was 56 when she resigned in 2014).

It’s a complex case which initially had to be split into two, first determining if the courts even had authority over the DPAC decisions (which was decided in her favour in February) and secondly to deal with the claims.

Meanwhile President Hassan Rouhani of Iran continues to seek mediation with the US over the 2015 nuclear deal (known as the JCPOA). The proposal will see talks in Tokyo between the US and Rouhani’s teams.

Trump’s administration withdrew from the deal in 2018 and has since imposed increasingly draconian sanctions which have in turn led to internal disruption in the Middle Eastern state.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has kept up relations with Tehran but is also seen as an ally of the Pumpkin faced commander of cheese in the US so has an foot in both camps, not necessarily the best example of independence for a mediator but better than being wholly financially dependent upon one or the other.

The visit will be the first by a serving Iranian president for 20 years. Last year’s effort to start mediation failed when the Iranian president failed to turn up for a telephone conference with President Macron of France and President Trump (who you’ll know from the recent NATO summit in the UK are still bigly friends).

A couple of updates on previous mediation news stories now firstly on the ongoing teaching dispute in Ontario now, Stephen Lecce education minister continues to urge the OSSTF (Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation) to begin mediation talks to avert further working to rule (which now includes the postponement or cancellation of all field trips) and strikes.

Harvey Bischof, union president has made it a condition of entering mediation that Lecce removes mandatory increases in class size, e-learning and limiting the members to a one-per-cent wage increase.

Lecce says the demand for a pay increase higher than that offered hy the state across the board would cost over $1.5 billion given the number of employees “This demonstrates yet again that if OSSTF does not get their demands - including a $1.5-billion increase to compensation for all education workers - they will continue to strike and hurt our kids,”

Independently the Catholic teacher’s union is to begin strike action on 21/12/19 (really what the Christian teachers union is going to strike over the holidays? Starting on a Saturday?)

Our other update on a previous blog article regards the mediation undertaken by Pacific Gas & Electric.

You’ll recall that they were in mediation to settle claims brought by the families affected by the 2017/18 California wildfires, they’ve settled with the cities and insurers and now they’ve settled with the individual claimants thanks to hard working mediators. The payments will be half made in cash and half in shares.

The stock allocation will only take place after PG&E emerges from bankruptcy and will be purchased by third party thereby turning both elements of the settlement into ready cash.

Richard Bridgford who represents a number of the victims confirmed “they are actually drawing on the future value of PG&E to compensate the victims...drawing upon the fact that they will be generating billions of dollars income as a public monopoly"

Work has continued on preventing future problems being caused by the company’s infrastructure and they have already confirmed their conduits did not cause and had no impact upon this year’s fires.

Bill Johnson (no relation) CEO of PG&E said "From the beginning of the Chapter 11 process, getting wildfire victims fairly compensated, especially the individuals, has been our primary goal. We want to help our customers, our neighbours and our friends in those impacted areas recover and rebuild after these tragic wildfires"

The settlement has been endorsed by the state’s governor, Gavin Newsom, but awaits the bankruptcy judge’s approval.

Finally this week in Guyana the acting chief justice has order mediation in a wrongful imprisonment suit brought by Sandra Russell.

Initially imprisoned for trafficking 70 grams of marijuana for three and a half months she was handed over to immigration officials to be deported at the end of her sentence.

She then spent a further either months in custody in conditions which she alleges made her ill and was held wrongfully and therefore against her will. She seeks the modest sum of $10 million per day.

The case has been referred to mediation by the acting chief judge following a request by the attorney general’s chambers.

As we’ve said before choose to mediate early and resolve your issues effectively, quickly, and with less stress and costs than going to your solicitor. 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 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 (including child arrangements, divorce and MIAMs), commercial disputes, civil mediation or inheritance, wills and probate 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 wills probate mediation; property mediator; civil mediator; civil litigation; fast track mediation; injury mediation

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