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  • Writer's pictureEd Johnson

Beach front property problems and some employment mediation news

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 continues to use 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.

And we’re straight back into employment mediation this week with the Bristol Warren Education Association asking for the assistance of a mediator in the ongoing talks over contacts terms and conditions.

Michelle Way DaSilva co-president of the union said that after 20 months of good faith negotiations the union had reached the point where they considered there was the need of a state appointed mediator to help them break the impasse.

Part of the issue arises from the school committee proceeding against objections with a decision that the school calendar year would begin at Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) and whilst that is central to the objections raised Michelle confirmed it is not the only issue in discussion but that decision was representative of the committee’s refusal to listen to the interested parties in the community.

Sticking with the US and the only elected community development director Mary Ellen Winborn will meet with the Clallam (it’s not a typo) county commissioners with the assistance of mediator Barbara Wilson.

Mary Ellen confirmed there were no pending law suits but that she wanted to meet in mediation with the three commissioner’s in a private session where she could be open with them. No county decisions or business are allowed as all such business is required to be in public (unlike the awarding of procurement contracts by HMGov which can apparently be done on gmail).

Whilst the commissioners were not entirely clear why they were attending mediation they all expressed an expectation that communication will improve. One of the commissioners Randy Johnson (no relation) said he was hopeful that the sessions would lead to an agreement on how future disagreements were handled including when to escalate matters from internal to external procedures.

Often the way in which disagreements are handled by individuals and businesses compound difficulties rather than overcome them, Northwest Mediation has worked with some businesses where procedures are either not in place or not followed and as a result matters escalate. We can’t advise what procedures you should have in place if we are in a mediation with you or your employer but we can look at policies which aren’t working and agree between the parties amendments.

Openness is a key factor in reaching an agreement when mediating a divorce settlement (MOU/OFSI in mediator speech UK). In this case the supreme court in Indiana held that the failure to disclose all assets can lead to a re-examination of an agreement reached in mediation.

Here the actual spreadsheet of assets used was disclosed and it was held that this could in certain circumstances be a permitted breach of the confidentiality of the mediation process, but whether it was or not the lower court had not erred in awarding 50% of stock to the wife following non-disclosure.

Down under now for a planning dispute. The Holmes Beach resort run by Richard and Lynn Tran Hazen is a group of holiday rental units on the beach front including a tree house built without permits in 2011.

The council has ordered the removal of the tree house, in which the couple live, and has been the subject of ongoing court battles.

The couple have now requested mediation citing the actions of the council had “created a financial crisis for the Hazens because the city is interfering with our ability to earn a living during the legal disputes. We wish to avoid another legal action in court to protect our rights to earn a living.”

Costs to date are running at over $170,000 (over £92,000) for both parties so it’s probably high time they considered alternative dispute resolution!

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 the tunnel and see the light. 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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