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  • Writer's pictureEd Johnson

Dispute Resolution is mediation - shock

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.

Sir Geoffrey Vos master of the rolls has rolled out his idea for streamlining the claim system. Part of the thrust of his changes comes as a reaction to the acceptance that as he say 80% of claims have been resolved online with only hearings of over two hours needing to be in person.

What I find a little odd is that when he talks about a one point of entry for all litigants (let’s ignore that not everyone has wifi) he says ‘We can call it “Claims R Us” for the sake of argument,’ said Vos. ‘It will direct anybody to the right online location to resolve their dispute, whether that’s a court, an ombudsman process or a pre-action portal.’ The name is awful but it will stick, but more importantly he doesn’t mention mediation.

Mediation has been and remains the primary way of resolving disputes without the need to go to court, the first point should not be which service do you require but which type of mediation do you require thereby avoiding the assumption that an ombudsman, court or tribunal is necessary.

He does add some hope commenting that he is aiming at dispute resolution I’d just like a bit more use of the word mediation, his comment on the “streamlined” system involving ‘literally be 50 or a hundred online pre-action portals aimed at one thing – not dispute, but resolution.’ Some hope for a smaller green book (showing my age)

Following court ordered mediation the company 3M will pay $98.4 million in settlement for polluting the Tennessee river (in stark contrast to here where HMG is about to grant permission to sewage companies to dump raw effluent into the nations waters).

The company’s Decatur premises produced PFAS chemicals (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl) for decades in the production of fabrics and cook-wares.

It’s been a long slog for all involved but the mediation managed to find an agreement which will see 3m and other companies involved in cleaning up the carcinogenic waste products from the waters and surrounding areas.

I know every week I mention mediation in respect of landlord and tenant matters, it’s still incredibly helpful for all involved.

Although Contra Costa County confirmed that the ban on evictions which came into force during the pandemic no longer applies it has set aside federal funding to help out tenants not least in the form of paying for mediators to work between tenants and landlords to find mutually acceptable ways forward.

No less than $71 million has been set aside from the American Rescue Plan funds to help residential tenants primarily but by application will assist landlords as well. The ARP was the big relief bill signed into law by President Biden in March aimed at rescuing and jump starting the economy as the country heads towards the end of the worst of the covid crisis. It's nice to have a positive story mentioning the POTUS after all those years of the other guy.

The fund has so far helped 14,000 applicants and a further 5,000 applied following the end of the ban on evictions, these are not just numbers these are individuals and families in dire straights needing assistance and in Contra Costa County they are getting the help they need via mediation and other support networks.

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.

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 Crewe, a commercial mediator in Stoke, a dispute resolution for your family in Manchester, 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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