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  • Writer's pictureEd Johnson

Can you mediate if the beach is closed?

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.

I mentioned this last week but popular beech comber Dominic Raab is calling for radical ideas to get more cases out of the family courts and into the mediation and ADR arena. Here’s an idea make mediation agreements enforceable that reduces the number of clients who still want to go to court with their agreement after mediation.

We try to discourage this practice by encouraging actual change in trust levels and communication but it can be very difficult fir parties to accept the other person won’t breach the agreement so we understand the desire for something that is “concrete” but we will continue to help clients reach agreements which are more likely to be stuck to than an order which makes someone feel like they lost.

I have a genuine sinking feeling that the next step will be an online portal run by Tory Donor A (or if you use the Matt Hancock dodge outsourced by a third party to Tory Donor Company A)or a platform that dishes out cases without regard to clients’ wishes.

Come to Northwest Mediation for your family mediation we are absolutely speedier and cheaper than court, even if you come back twice because things have moved on and you and the other party want to review matters we’re still better value. The reality is you will not get the order you want at court you’ll get an order with an arrangement you could have agreed so don’t spend years fighting.

As university unions here in the UK begin strike action we look towards the US and specifically Columbia University for where mediation could assist.

Student Workers of Columbia-United Auto Workers Columbia and the University are working with Kevin Flanigan to reach an agreement on contract terms and progress is being made.

Sixth-year doctoral student Lilian Coie who is also a member of the SWC–UAW bargaining committee has agreed that the process had helped both sides realise where some compromise may exist

“We’ve gotten some good indications of areas where the University is willing to move, which is great….And we have our own similar indications.”

Sixth-year doctoral student in the classics department Charles Pletcher confirmed that the mediator had helped the parties think again about areas of potential agreement “He made it a bit clearer where we might be able to find common ground with the management…So for that reason, I remain cautiously optimistic.”

The university said it was looking “forward to continuing mediation and ending the strike as soon as possible”.

The strike has impacted on teaching and even on deliveries to the university by UPS, which presumably means Amazon deliveries are at risk as well!

I’m a sucker for learning new skills and terminology so why not have a peruse of this article by Karen Brown Willcuts on the essential tips for gas and oil mediation. (Which in addition for me would involve me putting to one side my view that both these industries can’t end soon enough).

Karen rightly suggests that participants should choose a mediator with some knowledge of the industry not least so they know what outside pressures and regulations might come into play if agreement cannot be reached (although with inevitable lawyers on both sides they should be highlighting these for the parties) but also so that acronyms don’t slow you down.

I like Karen’s comment that use the full name first time round then you’re ok to use the abbreviated version, it’s one reason I dislike the word MIAM so much, it gets thrown about without any explanation if mediators are not careful and it’s unnecessary use the whole phrase it is self explanatory but not if shortened.

In civil cases you often find counsel using abbreviations to score points on their knowledge or the witnesses lack thereof it’s not something we allow in mediation as we always pull up lawyers if they are using nomenclature with which the party is unfamiliar and make them speak in plain English, if I don’t know what you’re saying or think the party might not I will make you explain and so far only once has it turned out they didn’t know the meaning of the word either.

It’s the one time I have said privately to counsel the less polite version of don’t kid a kidder.

Anyway Karen’s article is a good read as she sets out that counsel should discuss possible areas of compromise prior to the mediation so more can be achieved in a shorter period and she makes the very sensible point that in this industry (as with many others) there are ongoing relationships which mediation helps with where litigation can be destructive.

The three pillars of mediation remain it’s voluntary, 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. Take the gambling out of litigation and work through to a solution with Northwest Mediation.

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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