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  • Writer's pictureEd Johnson

Feelings, nothing more than feelings

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 uses 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 know I say it almost every week but mediation is an absolute must for landlords and tenants in dispute it is so much easier and quicker than slogging it out particularly in the current climate.

Now a delegation from New Hampshire has expounded the benefits of its free to user landlord and tenant mediation program which has been running for a month or so to the rest of the US.

Senators Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen along with represantatives Annie Kuster and Chris Pappas have called upon the US Department of Housing and Urban Development to adopt the process state-wide.

The northern circuit in New Hampshire is piloting the scheme in the Concord and Claremont circuits.

Coordinator of the state’s Office of Mediation and Arbitration, Margaret Huang, said “Mediation gives landlords and tenants the opportunity to come up with creative solutions that are beneficial to both parties and tailored to their individual situations…[the] emergency pilot project could not be better positioned to resolve these cases during the COVID-19 pandemic, when both landlords and tenants may have been seriously financially impacted”

According to one recent survey there are 1.4 million people facing possible eviction once the end of various moratoria end.

Interesting article by Nouman Ali on the management of emotions in mediation. Nouman reminds readers of the need to ensure all parties feel safe not just physically (which over the last few months has been somewhat easier as many mediations have been over zoom) but also emotionally safe.

That doesn’t mean that there will not be tears and that the process is easy, it’s not it can be very challenging for all involved but as Nouman says making sure the parties know they are safe to let their feelings show is critical to getting to the heart of any problem (and I talk here not just about family but in business as well the fear which some directors carry with them is palpable but asking hem to explain what they are feeling is not always that easy).

Nouman reminds us to let the clients take a breath, Northwest Mediation often encourages clients after a particularly emotional moment to take stock of what has just been said and maybe to have a couple of minutes alone (or off screen) to consider what has just been said but also why it has been said in the way it has been enunciated.

Understanding the emotional background (let’s avoid belittling it by calling it baggage) that clients bring with them and helping them understand their own as well as the other parties’ feelings allows insight into problems and therefore problem solving.

Michel Kallipetis QC has words this week on why more businesses are not taking up the availability of mediation, given the success rate, speed and saving in costs it is interesting to note his thoughts on why some partnerships and companies (let’s be blunt their lawyers, partners and directors) are avoiding the use of the process (as it saves money the duty to shareholders is potentially breached if mediation is not considered).

Michel notes that a now quite old survey in 2007 found that nearly 50% of litigation cases were as a result of personal animosity between the officers of companies and businesses, he agrees that it seems an unsustainable approach for companies where shareholder power is now so much more readily employed.

He then deals with the 2013 survey which concluded that “dispute wise” businesses were those who had controlling parties who wished to maintain working relationships where as “unwise” businesses were those who were more aggressive and felt the need to “win” every argument irrespective of the potential impact (or perhaps without thought to the wider impacts).

Northwest Mediation has been conducting business mediation/commercial mediation for over five years and it has always been when the controlling minds of the company sit down and talk with Northwest Mediation about how they feel about the dispute, why it happened and what they actually want to achieve that a resolution has always been possible (and usually one is achieved).

I won’t wholly take issue with Michel when he says that barristers are useful in mediation, I would say that some barristers are useful in mediation, in the same way that some lawyers are (whereas others are there to tick a box or crank up a fee and do not really want their client to engage in mediation – I remember being told I couldn’t talk direct to a client in mediation at the outset of a meeting, I told the lawyer and their client that was not going to work for a mediation and got on with speaking to their client direct and helped them find a resolution).

I may have hurt the lawyer’s feelings but the client felt a whole let better for the result.

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 the tunnel and see the light. 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 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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