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  • Writer's pictureEd Johnson

Mediation - when the floor is pulled from under you

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, Whereby, 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 can be no physical meeting.

Sebastian city council is off to mediation this Thursday in the suit against council members Damien Gilliams, Charles Mauti and Pamela Parris for violating the “Sunshine Law” by holding a secret meeting earlier.

The claimants in the case Mayor Ed Dodd, city manager Paul Carlisle and city Attorney Manny Anon are seeking to prevent the dismissal of Anon, Carlisle and clerk Jeanette Williams along with replacing the mayor with Gilliams.

Last Wednesday the two attorneys (Jonathon Barkett and Craig Rappel) excused themselves from the Zoom hosted hearing for several minutes and returned to agree that all decisions taken were invalid and voided and that the two sides would meet in mediation to resolve their issues confidentially and quickly so that the business of the city can be recommenced.

We all feel a little like the floor has been removed from normal life so it’s good timing for this great article by James Nulman, Floridian mediator setting out why mediation is so much better than court in flooring cases.

Reminding people of the time, money and stress saved by the process, like Northwest Mediation James generally works in one day and similarly has a high success rate

Even in the small claims court it’s cheaper to mediate than litigate. While you’re locked down trying to work out what to do about that ongoing dispute (which the court won’t deal with for months) it is worth thinking about why you want to litigate (sue).

As James says court rooms are rarely about truth or justice, they are about acting, performance and the vague appearance of winning and losing (though rarely have “winners” told me they feel that they were wholly successful) , mediation is about resolving your dispute allowing you to move forward and keeping you in control. That doesn’t mean you get all you ever wanted but it does mean an examination of what it is you actually want to achieve.

Meanwhile as the lockdown continues in Spain neighbour disputes (such as the ones Northwest Mediation deals with) have rocketed. In lockdown the inability to get away from the usual aggravations of noise, dogs barking, car parking and other long held irritations come to the fore and as a result authorities in Barcelona have been referring vast numbers of complaints to be successfully resolved by mediation.

Neighbour mediation is always difficult as the surface complaint, the straw that breaks the camels back, is rarely what is behind the issue. And getting behind potentially many years of aggravation is part of the job for a mediator.

Finding where the parties have common ground is part of that job as well as discovering that neighbours on the whole look out for each other is one of the recurring themes we find in these kinds of disputes and in some cases lead to the parties having better relations going forward.

Northwest Mediation works with housing associations as well as private landlords and tenants to help them reach agreement to resolving their difficulties. It can be daunting to approach your landlord or your tenant to open discussions but Northwest Mediation does this for you and often letting the other side know you want to talk (rather than a threat of proceedings) means that discussions can be open and lead to a quick resolution of the issues you have.

Don’t hesitate to contact Northwest Mediation with your details using the chat button, filling in the contact form, phoning us or email, we can get back to you quickly and get the ball rolling often for free.

As we’ve said before choose to mediate early and resolve your issues effectively, quickly but with sufficient and sensible pauses for reflection, and with less stress and costs than going to your solicitor. You have an interest in the outcome the sooner you get around 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

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