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  • Writer's pictureEd Johnson

Everything wrong in the world of mediation

With the continued backlog of cases mediation is now more than ever the best choice to find a resolution for your dispute.  Get your dispute resolved now so 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.

Having spent last week’s blog pretty angry, did you notice?  This week I’ve moved on through the grief cycle and am just feeling dejected (that would be me quoting a principle and presenting an example of it in practice, which I now know is part of what’s missing in my portfolio).

I had an interesting meeting with the senior portfolio assessor for Family Mediation Studies Board today, along with 5 others, and was given information about the process which, in a half way decent system, should have been provided as part of training 3 years ago.  Offering the sop to ego that most people get rejected on their first application says more to the training being offered than the assessment process. 

It was good to hear that I was correct that it’s using the right phrases which is important not the actual work (yes it’s box ticking and bean counting and sweet FA to do with actual mediation)…except it’s not that simple of course as some of that box ticking is what sets FMC mediators apart from mediators, or at least lets the FMC know that its mediators are doing what they’re doing for the correct reasons, which is something I had not fully understood.

So whilst I remain very much depressed at the thought of starting the whole process again, which is becoming a very real possibility, I do have a bit more understanding of what they are after.  The talk should absolutely be part of the basic training, as should the CIM training, and the portfolio should be a staged process not a one time hit or miss but until the FMC grows up I’ll have to work in the guidelines they set.

In mediation news this week some other news of mediation…erm…problems

The Kowalski family sued St Petersberg based John Hopkins hospital following the suicide of Beata Kowalski, this followed child abuse allegations against her and her ten year old daughter being removed.

Over $260 million dollars was awarded to the family following trial against the hospital this was later reduced on appeal by $50 million.  The parties then went into mediation in terms of additional penalties, payment arrangements and costs.  The day long mediation apparently lasted a couple of hours, which suggests in my mind at least one party turned up because they had to not because they had any intention of meaningful engagement.

2 hours is barely enough in mediation to get a decent background from both parties (it’s my objection to the obligatory 2 hour mediation being brought in for civil cases in the small claims court), so fairly clear the parties (or perhaps their lawyers) did not want to mediate.

And as Stockport and Wrexham celebrate their ascension to league one this side of the pond in sporting mediation (different game) in Minnesota the Wolves ownership dispute is heading to mediation.

Glen Taylor (long time majority owner) is said to have had seller’s remorse by 36% stake buyers Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez who also tried to then by a further 40%.

They dispute having missed the closure window (which Taylor says precludes their purchase) as the offer had not been formally approved by the NBA.

In a game involving billions there are worries that without Taylor the payroll won’t be maintained and the business and team will fall into administration.

More sports news!  In Tallahassee Florida State University and the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) have been ordered to mediation a technical dismissal of the case has been clouded somewhat by additional time being given by the court for the FSU to amend their case, and in the meantime the parties are encouraged into mediation.

There’s a long history of disputes involving TV rights and payment therefrom so the issues are multilayered and linked, perfect sort of thing for mediation.

You may feel by the briefness of my recent blogs that my love of the job has been diminished, that’s actually not true this job is great and has some real benefits but there is something of a slog to get certain badges which really drains your joy.  Someday I’ll write a book about it but in the meantime I think I’ll feedback to the FMC (once I have my badge) just what an horrendous impact their system has on a part time mediator doing the job.

The three pillars of mediation remain it’s voluntary (at the moment), 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 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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