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  • Writer's pictureEd Johnson

AI mediation

With the continued backlog of cases mediation is now more than ever the best choice to find a resolution for your dispute.  Get your dispute resolved now so you can really concentrate on what’s important and what deserves your time and energy.

Northwest Mediation continues to use Zoom, Skype and FaceTime as well as the phone and emails to resolve disputes should we add we also do live in person mediation too!  So please do not feel that you cannot contact us if you would like to mediate but wish to do so remotely.

This week work has been all about carrying on regardless of health issues, that’s right the not-covid possibly flu definitely hacking cough has come home to roost.  Despite this I’ve cracked on both remotely and in person with mediation work.

It’s not easy when you’re self employed to take sick days, but as we were reminded in the self care section of this years family mediation week not looking after yourself now can cause problems later, it hasn’t helped that in the one week of the last 6 months I’ve been ill the GP wants to monitor my blood pressure (so I need to get back out to running as soon as possible if I’m to avoid talk about statins in the near future).  And then you see that AI is creeping up on the mediation world and wonder what the future will look like. 

I think we’re some way off a positronic brain and the human interplay needed for mediation is, like it is in therapy, easy to underplay and suggest there’s some sort of paint by numbers way of doing this job.  Don’t get me wrong AI has a place, and that place is in arranging meetings and weeding out junk calls.  But it may also now be in training.

This article describes how mediators are using ChatGPT to hone their skills. The cynic in me says I’m not sure if it’s like using Duolingo to learn a language you might complete many assignments and have a lot of badges but actually when you hit real world Spain are you able to converse in Spanish or have you simply learnt how to play the system (something clients could arguably be accused of on occasion!) Day 163 streak if you’re interested, amigo.

The difference from class to real world mediation is a hell of a jump, what people say and what you might role-play them as saying are very different and I am guessing from the article that what Chat does is create a similar (if not worse) set of characters to interrogate and perform.

Equally as with many teaching sessions in mediation there is a lean towards “an answer” or a range of possible outcomes, and a steer away from there being no resolution.  No one wants to admit that clients walk out and that things do not always resolve but that is the case and it’s a scenario I was little prepared for, no result is always harder to work with than a result which you might think objectively wasn’t the most “fair”.  I always examine the non-settling cases in much more detail (and then generally form the basis of training) because every day is a school day. 

This week for instance with a new trainee mediator they used the words after only seeing party A that you never use “she seems reasonable this should be straightforward”.  Does ChatGPT do underlying unexpected explosive comments?  I’ll have to give it a test run (and yes Chat did help write the blog last year it’s not bad as a basis but needs finessing).

In Australia Brittany Higgins (who has previously settled a claim for rape made against her employers for $2.44 million) is to return to Oz for mediation over the alleged defamatory comments she and her partner David Sharaz made about Linda Reynolds.

There is a potential freezing order in this case which as yet Reynolds has to enforce against Higgins’ French property where Higgins “fled” to last year.

The original settlement was made on a no admissions basis (but clearly not on a private one given the detail the article seems to provide) but also allegedly included a term that prevented Higgins making any derogatory comments in the press or social media.  Gagging orders and super injunctions may have their place, I am not sure that includes in cases of sexual assault unless it is to protect the victims.

And finally in a shorter than usual blog Hong Kong is attempting to set up the head quarters for the International Organization for Mediation in the old Wan Chai police station.

Now I don’t want to say too much about Hong Kong and China and their approach to mediation, as it would be ill informed and probably unhelpful but when you think about where you would want to place an international mediation centre would that be in a country whose human rights track record is excellent (and yes that excludes the UK currently).

The three pillars of mediation remain it’s voluntary (at the moment), it’s confidential, the mediator is independent, by using those pillars to support your work the parties keep control, save costs, save time and energy and reduce stress. 

In person or via electronic media 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 so you can get out choose a different path, not quite the road less travelled but perhaps the path less adversarial. 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 me at Northwest Mediation on 0161 667 4418 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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With the continued backlog of cases mediation is now more than ever the best choice to find a resolution for your dispute.  Get your dispute resolved now so you can really concentrate on what’s import


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