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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.

“Yeah you look like a mediator” was one quote I could use from today’s training from the excellent Nigel Clayton as the learned counsel looked at me he added “trustworthy face” which I’ll take as a compliment.

The other quote from today’s training from the excellent team at Kings Chambers was also from Nigel “no claim cannot be settled by mediation”, it was a seminar on probate and inheritance claims (yes I know I do bang on about them but as the team highlighted litigation in this area is on the increase and mediation has to be used as the costs of litigating get very high, very quickly and damages may even include the uplift on the claimant’s CFA – yes Sarah Lawrenson I was paying attention and not just because it was Lancastrian HHJ Gosnell judgment a judge who in one case I worked on had the joy of saying to an allegedly fraudulent claimant “is that the person you say has been following you? That’s my clerk”).

I should also name check Matthew Hall, Nathan Smith, Ian Cooper and Fay Collinson who all made this morning’s training on what can be rather a dry topic rather enjoyable.

One of the key comments coming out of several of the sections was that delay defeats inheritance claims (yes I know the cliché is delay defeats justice but you know what I mean) , the warning that even a pre-issue stand still agreement does not override the court’s jurisdiction is a sober warning that hanging about while you decide whether to claim or challenge in an inheritance case will cause you major problems.

On the plus side getting a claim issued (it’s 6 months from the grant if you really need to play chicken with the deadline) and then asking for a pause in proceedings is likely to be granted if the delay is to allow you to enter mediation (other forms of ADR are available).

Delays in court services are being deal with by the use of mediation (amongst other ADR responses) as discussed here by Judge John Wooldridge. He explains the Texas court system also ahs an additional way to reduce backlogs by use of the special judge procedure (the name of which sounds awfully like something from a 1990s Judge Dredd storyline!). As a special judge system he sits sort of like an arbitrator but with more oomph and ultimately appealable on usual legal grounds as opposed to an arbitrator only really facing appeals when there has been misconduct. I’m not sure the special judge procedure is much different to Dredd’s approach of judge jury and...erm determinator so perhaps we’ll stick with his comments on mediation.

One can’t but admire his straight talking that he’d like to avoid the financial bloodbath of litigation and see more cases in mediation, perhaps as ex-military this is his frame of reference but we’ve all seen clients haemorrhaging money in cases where the outcome may well end up a pyrrhic victory.

In a story with familiar background Duluth and Twin City nurses announced their intent to go on strike, obviously there’s no simple solution but the agreed way forward without delay is to involve mediators as quickly as possible to help find some form of resolution.

Politically I back strike action in the most part, if those with the means of production have no other recourse when it comes to negotiation it shows a failure in leadership (generally I mean the government) not a failure on the part of the staff. Spiralling inflation has diddly squat to do with wages, it’s been shooting up for months and no one’s had a pay rise except the MPs (in our case).

In the case reported St Luke’s Hospital and Essentia Health are both looking to find ways forward and Matt Baumgartner, Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce President has urged both sides to negotiate in good faith in a way that is sustainable and compensates all sides fairly.

He also praised the excellent nursing staff, which never hurts to remind everyone that those involved deal with some of the worst aspects of life.

I end this week’s speedy round up with an interview from one of’s co-founders, Jim Melamed, who is as optimistic as ever about the future of mediation.

Of course he is, we all know it works, saves time money and expense….

If you’re reading this (and google tells me some several people do, many thanks it’s mainly to do with getting crawlers to spot the website but I hope it’s not too dull when you scan down the news real stories)

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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