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  • Writer's pictureEd Johnson

A few of my favourite things (mediation edition)

With the limited access to courts and lawyers mediation is even more so now than ever the best choice to find a resolution for your dispute. Get your dispute resolved now while you can’t go anywhere you can really concentrate on what’s important and what deserves your time and energy.

Northwest Mediation uses Zoom, Skype and FaceTime as well as the phone and emails to resolve disputes so please do not feel that you cannot contact us as there are limits on physical meetings.

Another mediation scheme for landlords and tenants this time in the city so nice they named it twice, (New Amsterdam then New York I’m sure is what they mean).

The Landlord-Tenant Mediation Project will immediately assist tenants who fall into arrears and other rent related issues due to Covid.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said "As the City continues to beat back COVID-19, we must use every tool at our disposal to keep tenants safely in their homes, especially in communities that were already burdened by the affordable housing crisis…This project will ensure that New Yorkers aren't forced from their home during this unprecedented health and economic crisis."

Priority is being aimed at unrepresented tenants who find themselves facing eviction to prevent a later crisis of displaced and homeless people across the state.

First Lady of New York Chirlane McCray said “The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare institutional and economic inequities that communities of colour experience every day, which the City is committed to addressing…This new program will break down barriers to affordable, stable housing for black and brown New Yorkers and help their neighbourhoods come back stronger after this crisis.”.

I confess to liking a long mediation session, I feel it stops unnecessary repetition increases focus and reduces stress of attending week after week of sessions.

However in the Zoom era I’ve found that 7 plus hours staring at two, three or more faces about four square inches on a

screen (even a bigish screen) takes it out of you.

This is an interesting article dealing with the phenomenon of zoom fatigue and don’t we just know it.

The suggestion here is (against my natural inclination) to have shorter sessions multiple meetings with over several days, the issue I have alays found with that is commitment. Not the clients (they tend to agve problems with availability) but commitment of resources at the mediators end. If you’re part of an organisation with support staff then maybe arranging several meetings is easy but most mediators I work with or know are self employed and do most if not all of their own “back room” work, from booking conference rooms to taking calls to preparing bundles.

Having to do so for one long session is far easier than many multiple sessions, though in some cases such as family mediaitons occasionally it is useful to have a few sessions to focus on different issues or to allow gathering of additional documentation.

I still prefer a long day but it comes from working on takeovers late into the night and early hours as a lawyer and I should not be blind to the impact of the zoom fatigue on clients, indeed I will regularly ask clients if they need a break or if while I’m shuttling with the other party if they want to go stretch their “eyes” elsewhere.

In a final hearing you rarely get breaks so here again mediation with its flexible nature wins out over the final hearing of battering down witnesses and clients until they beg for the judgment (whatever it is).

Another of our favourite topics parties being scolded for non-compliance with or regarding mediation requests.

Here in Papua New Guinea Deputy Chief Judge Ambeng Kandakaski has said he is frustrated by the parties’ lack of action in finding alternative mediation resources.

The DCJ was scathing in expressing his “disappointment” with the parties and lawyers for PM James Marape, Davis Steven the deputy PM and nominal defendant on behalf of the state, Registrar of tenements Stanley Niketel, Chairman of mining advisor council Jerry Garry and the Mineral Resources Authority and Mining Minister Johnson Tuke.

So he was aiming fairly high in his criticism of the luminaries’ attempts to delay and defeat reference to mediation in the case brought by plaintiff company Barrick Niugini Ltd.

This was a repeat of earlier attempts by the defendants to defeat court orders for settlement talks to take place and the judge said that the court had been misled by lawyers previously in relation to attempts to comply with the ADR requirements of the law.

Strong criticism of your own Prime Minister for dodging the law…no comment.

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 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 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, 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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