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  • Writer's pictureEd Johnson

Mediation in action

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.

Last year the Pensacola city removed a confederate statue (not the one above) in part as a reaction to the Black Lives Matter protests. But objections were raised by (amongst others) the Ladies Memorial Association, the Stephen Mallory Camp 1315 Sons of Confederate Veterans, Save our Southern Heritage Florida Chapter and the Veterans Monuments of America.

Initially the court found that the groups had no standing to object to the decision and threw their case out however an appeal as lodged and permitted in part.

Now the appellate court has ordered all parties to mediation in an effort to find a way forward for all parties.

The monument itself is in storage pending a decision about what to do with it, whether or not the objecting parties are successful one would hope that determining what is done with the statue is part of those discussions.

A cry I echo is being made by Ontario’s mediators that mediation isn’t just reserved for family court cases and isn’t just limited to cases in court, in fact one of the key aims for mediation is to avoid court.

Morris Cooper an arbitrator who was surprised by the underuse of mediation in civil cases when he moved from Toronto said “Civil litigation, construction disputes, shareholder disputes, estate disputes, they just get relegated to never, never land (during the pandemic as the courts focus on cases considered urgent).

“COVID really has advanced the demand and need for ADR both in mediation to try to settle it and, failing that, arbitration.”

Josh Valler also of Barriston Law agrees saying “For my client it made sense because it was cost effective…We were able to utilize a service that’s been around for a while to ensure the effective and effective administration of justice.

“Every party thought it was an efficient use of resources and time. You got a resolution within months as opposed to years”

I know I say it every week but mediation really does save money. Whether you reach a settlement during or shortly after the mediation session all parties go away with a better understanding of the issues at stake and the positions adopted.

You may recall previous blogs about Ohio State University’s mediation program for victims of serial abuser Richard Strauss, now further action has been issued by Ben Crump on behalf of additional victims not part of the program.

Ben considers that the publicity around the program is not what it seems and said it was “apparent to our team that making the settlement program announcement outside the protections of a confidential mediation process is not an attempt to repair the damage done but rather an attempt to selfishly repair OSU’s image."

As you would expect in a press release Kristina M. Johnson (no relation) Ohio State President said "Ohio State remains committed to acknowledging the condemnable behaviour of a medical doctor who so clearly betrayed his position of power and trust…We once again thank the survivors for coming forward and the courage to bring this abuse to light."

One would again hope that if common sense prevails having reached settlement via mediation with other victims those that continue to come forward would be offered the same opportunity.

Notes from the discussions in London International Disputes Week panel sessions including comments John Howell OBE regarding some of the difficulties with mediation which arbitration does not necessarily suffer. Arbitration being more akin to court and not having the emotional involvement of mediation needs to respond to the reactions of the parties intelligently whereas arbitration can plough on regardless (well not quite regardless but with less notice being taken of the impact of comments than mediation which is all about the emotional reasoning).

I suppose in some respects mediation does suffer from remote involvement, although the mediation Northwest Mediation has conducted by Zoom have continued to have an excellent resolution rate but there is an element of personal presence which is lost and sometimes reactions which clients either miss or are reluctant to acknowledge from the other party which in person would have a more significant impact.

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 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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