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  • Writer's pictureEd Johnson

Mediation planning for post covid - Eviction delay and Back to the Future

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.

There are a few moves this week which show recognition that in order to avoid evictions due to the pandemic mediation is the best option for all involved.

This week it’s Santa Clara County with Dave Cortese, county supervisor, acknowledging that with the end of the federal Covid relief fund many households face eviction as they still have no work or funds to pay rent.

"It's important to see these numbers, it is certainly an eye opener. On the other hand, I wasn't too surprised...There is no way you have such high unemployment and not have some kind of train wreck in terms of ability to pay” he said.

Balancing the extension of a moratorium on evictions for non-payment with the landlords’ needs for income isn’t easy for the county as they can only delay evictions and cannot deny landlords’ income even if it is later than expected.

Dave added that the steps the county can take are limited "Cash payments, food stamps, things like that are not enough, not only is it not enough to live, but its typically not enough to live in a dignified fashion. So yeah, we are pretty scared. This is a really serious situation,"

Cindy Chavez president of the board of supervisors suggested a sales tax last month of 5/8 cent which was voted down but would have funded Covid relief by taking payments over the next few years.

She said "We have an obligation to work with every level of government to try to resolve this issue so people can stay in their homes…What is really called for is more support, particularly at a federal level."

Recognising the role mediation has to play Dave said "If you don't create or institutionalize a way for people to mediate people's problems before they become legal disputes then you end up mediating them later in the courtroom…It makes more sense to expand existing mediation programs in the county and city to take on a much higher volume and get people to start signing agreements…This is better than going to court where tenants who are not legally proficient may get taken advantage of."

At the international rather than local level mediation efforts by Pakistan between Saudi Arabia and Iran are moving, albeit slowly, said Pakistan’s President Imran Khan “Our mediation between Iran and Saudi Arabia has not stopped and we are making progress, but slowly…We have done our best to avoid a military confrontation between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and our efforts have succeeded”

The court has overruled the decision of the Federal Labor Relations Authority in respect of an arbitrated decision regarding the agreement between the National Weather Service and its Union.

Effectively the arbitration determined when negotiations had started and thus whether the procedures were followed for continuing discussions in mediation, the arbitration’s decision was overrule by the FLRA but the appellate court held that the arbitration decision could only be overruled in the same circumstances effectively as any judgment that the decision itself was “contrary to any law, rule or regulation” or failed to “draw its essence from the collective bargaining agreement” not simply that the FLRA disagreed with the ultimate decision of the neutral arbitrator.

Back to eviction mediation and Las Vegas this time. Moises (Mo) Denis, democratic senator for Vegas put forward the proposal explaining the were likely to be over 100,000 evictions in one month when the current nationwide moratorium expired. The proposal is that all cases are on hold for 30 days while a mediator works with both parties to come up with a plan that works for landlord and tenant.

Justice Jim Hardesty who sits on the supreme court recognised the process would follow the similar model as the foreclosure mediations had during the recession in the late noughties.

And similarly in Delaware they’re recognising the same problem and using mediation as the solution.

From Vegas slot machines to another slot machine related story mediation has been ordered in the case of Southland Gaming Inc. v the Government of the Virgin Islands and VIGL Operations LLC.

The claims centre around breach of exclusivity in relation to gaming machines supplied by Southland Gaming to the Virgin Islands.

In preliminary matters the court has already held in Southland’s favour that there is no distinction between the two types of slot machines in question and that therefore their exclusivity agreement could have been breached. But before final judgment the parties have been order to make further full disclosure and enter mediation in order to avoid a trial.

And finally simply because any chance to get a Back to the Future reference into a blog is worthwhile this article has some great thoughts on where mediation now stands post covid.

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. 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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