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  • Writer's pictureEd Johnson

Delay defeats justice - so mediate

With the continued backlog of cases 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 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.

I’m writing this week when I should be in a mediation meeting (a MIAM actually so technically not a mediation but you know what I mean), clients being late is a pain even when it’s a zoom meeting, but there’s normally a reason, either technical or practical and I never get too bothered by it. Avoiding delay is one of the things we’re trying to do in mediation.

I’m still reeling from the application we made in February being listed for October this year (and yes in the main that application was pretty much adjourned!) so I’m well aware of quite how backlogged the courts are, through no fault of their own, the court staff are all trying their best with underfunded and sometimes unworkable systems.

Florida property insurers who are trying to delay law suits will find that a decision of Judge Angela Dempsey won’t be letting that happen! The judge has refused to overturn an earlier decision by insurance commissioner David Altmaier to send the cases to mediation and thence to arbitration so as to prevent any delay in the resolution of claims.

There are even premium discounts to punters, sorry, claimants who use the system. Restoration Association of Florida and Air Quality Assessors, LLC lodge a claim that the decision will

“confuse policyholders or assignees and subject them to mediation and confidential binding arbitration when they have a right, by law, to go to court.

Equally important, OIR [office of insurance regulation], as a state actor, approved the jury-trial waiver, which is inconsistent with Florida’s guarantee that the ‘right to trial by jury shall be secure to all and remains inviolate”.

America Integrity (the insurer) responded “A policyholder who does not wish to give up their right to file a lawsuit in the courts may reject the endorsement and the discount associated with it and may still obtain coverage from American Integrity — it is completely voluntary on the part of the policyholder to purchase a policy with the endorsement. … American Integrity’s policy endorsement gives homeowners the freedom to make an informed choice about an insurance product that fits the homeowners’ specific needs” . I suppose a financial inducement to mediate isn’t a bad thing as an additional inducement to my usual ‘quicker, cheaper less stress’

The courts and to a lesser extent insurers have been trying to reduce the legal costs involved in property claims for a number of years and it seems to me steering more cases to mediation is an excellent way of doing so without causing delay.

One matter that causes delay is raising funds (even with our very reasonable fee structure) so no shock that in a study three quarters of Dutch people said they would really like a free mediator in the even their marriage broke down!

SGP Leader Kees van der Staaij proposed to the lower house of the Dutch parliament a two year subsidised programme of mediation, so free to service users not unpaid mediators (which I would have made me shout in consternation).

Up to two thirds of people asked said they would want mediator assistance if the divorce involved children and 40% said that the government should work to dissuade divorce where children are involved.

I was with you up until that last point, staying in a miserable marriage for the sake of the children delays the inevitable and damages the parties and the children, children are much better served by happy separated parents than miserable parents living together for the sake of (and therefore running the risk of blaming) the kids.

Faculty, librarians and archivists have been having an ongoing dispute over pay and conditions at Queens University (Canada) and have now decided that the disputes have gone on long enough and that no more delay should be countenanced so they’ve called for the mediators! It’s very much like using the Batphone.

The terms of a new collective agreement are to be discussed at mediation sessions in December with a view to a final resolution being achieved. We have some university staff (and users) in the family and know how these discussions can seem to take forever and may if not resolved result in strike action (as we’re seeing this week in Universities here in the UK) so whatever your problem, work, family or civil litigation claim don’t delay, enquiring costs nothing.

The three pillars of mediation remain it’s voluntary (except apparently when it won’t be anymore), 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. Finally this one is mediation, mediator jointly appointed, areas of discussion agreed and intention to be bound by the outcome.

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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