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  • Writer's pictureEd Johnson

Frustration in Mediation

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.


Frustration, great game from Hasbro you nearly won and then someone would land on your counter and you’d be sent back to the start or you couldn’t get quite the right number to get your counter home and someone else would just pip you to the post.


You know where this is going?


Mediation can cause some forms of frustration, I won’t pretend it doesn’t. One client attends family mediation, brings all their documents for disclosure, is ready and willing to negotiate, the other doesn’t. Just turns up and starts arguing about what he or she should get. I step in and say we cannot talk about “the deal” until we know what is in the “pot”, it’s cards on the table not guesswork and prayers. That can be frustrating, for the first party that party 2 isn’t properly engaging, for party 2 that the mediator is stopping them working out what they want, and for the mediator who despite best efforts can’t let agreement talks proceed when nobody knows what the value of the family “pot” is.


However I like to think that short term frustration, of doing the process correctly, is outweighed by the long term resolution and by getting of what will normally have been a much longer period of frustration about getting some movement towards resolution.


It’s the same with inheritance, lots of family members all frustrated that the others won’t simply agree to them getting the family silver (or whatever), that sort of frustration is one of the things we are trying to minimise by reaching settlements in talks in mediation rather than at court, where everyone comes put more frustrated than they started!


Sometimes it’s the boss you find frustrating, never letting you have time to yourself or control over your working hours (sometimes it’s not enough input from your boss), or it’s your neighbour or…you get the idea.


Mediation brings an end to frustrations by working with clients to find out acceptable solutions to all involved.


Having said mediation works out frustrations you then find that in the US they’re charging upwards of £3000 flat fee for divorce mediation, I guess it’s still a saving compared to legal fees that side of the pond.

Certainly this side of the Atlantic we charge way less to find a solution to your divorce settlement (or other claim if you’re in the civil court) than solicitors do to fight your case in court. How much less varies, but if you think a final 3 hour hearing might set you back £600-£1500 just for the hearing and that’s after you’ve paid for all the prep work, consideration of documents and correspondence at much the same price a few hundred for settlement seems remarkable value.


University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (WITS university) has agreed to mediate with students representative committee (SRC) to bring an end to protests over lack of student accommodation and financial exclusions (and other matters). I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to be paying for months of housing at University which will go unused during our eldest’s Easter month off! (sorry preparation and reading time for exams) but the students at WITS have shown their frustration by demonstrating on campus until this week’s move by the University to engage with their representative body.


I have a relative who is regularly in hospital, this week the discussion briefly was held about clinical negligence (an area I used to work in quite a lot, it’s pretty soul destroying for all involved whichever “side” you play for in litigation). Here there’s a response to/comment on Mary Coralan’s discussion previously published in the Irish Times about the use of mediation in catastrophic injury cases. The response comes from the Medical Protection Society and endorses the use of mediation early in cases of not just cat injury claims but clin neg (you see how quickly an old litigator slips back into shorthand!).


I used mediation when I was a litigator but it was never used enough, I’m always open to assist in clin neg, cat injury or other injury claims where mediation may assist.


Avoid frustration use mediation.


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 ed.johnson@northwestmediation.co.uk

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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