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  • Writer's pictureEd Johnson

Growth in Mediation

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.

We reported last week that in Canada there was an surge in family mediation as a result of family breakdowns during Covid and the very sensible decision to take things through the ADR route and not have to battle it all out at great cost to pocket and mental health. Here another Canadian commentator agrees that they are seeing the same upswing this time from Okanagan (yes I had to google where it was).

Vernon based marriage counsellor Chris Bader says "Relationships are getting hammered hard…Working from home, not getting out, not connecting with the general public or their friends or their families, that is a huge part of what keeps us well."

I had a lovely catch up today with a colleague I studied with and it reminded me how refreshing it is to see faces outside your immediate support bubble and the Amazon delivery “randoms” as my brother refers to the delivery agents. So it remains no surprise that relationships are under strain.

It’s not just in families either, I’ve worked over the pandemic with companies and businesses whose directors and partners have fallen out in part due to the impact of how people react differently to lockdown and the risk factors of the pandemic.

Chris adds that "It's across the board, individuals with anxiety, substance use has become big and there's conflict in relationships because of those things, it's all tied together. It's like a domino effect."

Chris is on the mending side of relationships as opposed to mediation where we help only when the relationship is at an end. This is also where in Okanagan Juris Vinters of Modern Separations comes in.

"The pandemic is not causing separations in otherwise healthy relationships…The more typical story would be (couples) have known for a while that this is not working, and maybe now is the time to take that next step. It's something people think long and hard about... so there has to be something that's fundamentality not working for this to be the final straw."

Juris adds that this year unlike any other has made people focus on what’s important (loo roll presumably) "People have confronted dying and death in a way that tends to focus your mind and step back and think, 'Am I making the right decisions? Am I living life the way I want to live life?...people do tend to look back on their lives and wonder whether they're living life like they really want to."

It's good to reflect on future life choices of course but sadly the pandemic has also brought about an increase in mental health issues, particularly in youngsters who (especially in the UK) tend to be regarded as carrying on as normal as they are at school. It’s not normal to wear a mask 99% of your free time in school, it’s not normal not to be able to high five or hug friends, kids are suffering and some need help to cope and it’s not always obvious, check on your loved ones listen to their answers not just the words.

In Georgia while still trying to deal with the pandemic the dispute over who won the election continues. The parties are now into round three of their mediation trying to find a workable solution between the ruling Dream Party and the eight opposition parties.

One of the sticking point remains how to organise a new election speaker for the parliament Archil Talakvadze refused to agree there would be new elections “‘no repeat elections will take place as the elections were conducted in line with democratic standards” a position with which the opposition parties take issue.

However Irakli Kobakhidze the executive secretary of the (current) ruling party said he hoped that a resolution would be found soon through the ongoing mediation.

In a whistle-blowing case brought by the former Blair County assistant district attorney the court has ordered matters proceed via mediation. The case revolves around allegations of “time theft” this isn’t the Christmas Dr Who episode but a time recording issue which led to the aforementioned ADA being sacked a couple of years ago.

Now the court has held that the matter should proceed to mediation before coming back before the court in the interests of saving time and costs (not to mention the stress of the parties involved).

We often talk about independence of the mediator as a key element of a successful mediation. The rejection by Estonia, the UK and the US of Russia’s pretence at independence makes that point clearly.

Estonian Foreign Minister Reinsalu said that it was clear from the fact that only Russia and two other UN security council members attendance demonstrated that countries could see through the Russian aggressor's attempts to portray itself as an independent mediator.

He said "We support the peaceful resolution of the conflict in eastern Ukraine with full respect of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Russia’s attempts to bend the truth are not conducive to this"

A joint statement from Estonia, the UK and the US made a joint statement on the meeting "Russia held a meeting at the UN today on what Russia claims is the status of the implementation of the Minsk agreements. This meeting was a transparent attempt to present a false and misleading narrative regarding the conflict in eastern Ukraine. We strongly reject Russia’s premise that it is acting as a mediator within an internal conflict. Russia is an active participant that trains, arms, and leads armed formations in areas outside of Ukrainian government control, supplementing these proxy forces with military personnel and equipment. It instigated and continues to fuel a conflict which has resulted in approximately 13,000 deaths, appalling human rights abuses, and a deteriorating humanitarian situation for the civilian population,"

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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