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  • Writer's pictureEd Johnson

No such thing as free 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 can be no physical meeting.

I watched Bridge of Spies this weekend and whilst I appreciate it’s a dramatic reconstruction of events surrounding James Donovan and Rudolph Able (born William Fisher) it was interesting to note that Donovan took time to find out what the real goals and influences on the parties on both sides were which allowed him to find a workable solution that saw the return to their respective countries of Frederic Pryor, Able and Francis Powers.

That’s one of the skills of mediation, understanding what lies behind actions and positions.

Imperial Pacific International will find that out when they attend mediation, which Chief Judge Sidney R Thomas has order to be conducted “at no cost, to help resolve disputes quickly and efficiently and to explore the development of more satisfactory results than can be achieved from continued litigation.” There’s a place for pro bono mediation, I’m not sure this is it.

IPI is in proceedings with its former contractor Pacific Rim Land Development LLC for breach of promissory note and they have now been served with notice to mediate, if they fail to comply with the notice their case will be struck out so there’s some impetus to comply.

Chief Judge Thomas said “In most cases, the mediator will schedule a settlement assessment conference, with counsel only, to determine whether the case is suitable for mediation.

Be assured that participation in the mediation program will not slow down disposition of your appeal. Mediation discussions are not limited to the issues on appeal. The discussions can involve other cases and may include individuals who are not parties to the litigation, if doing so enables the parties to reach a global settlement”

I’m not clear who’s paying for this but with a $5.65 million judgment outstanding against IPI and efforts to issue warrants for execution (seizure) of their assets it strikes me that the parties could probably afford to pay for their own mediator’s fees.

The mediator will need to work out what lies behind the parties’ cases what they really want to achieve and what else might be possible, as the judge says, outside the scope of the appeal.

Meanwhile in Wilmington City the treasurer Velda Jones-Potter and Mayor Mike Purzycki are to take their case to mediation as well.

Chancery Court Judge Joseph Slights was advised by both parties that they are in agreement that they have both agreed to mediate their dispute.

So far the city has paid the fees of both parties in excess of $300,000 and with public funds already stretched it makes sense to try to mediate, in fact it should have been an option taken earlier.

The background of the claim is really a finger pointing exercise for who is to blame for the mis-management of the now defunct Wilmington Housing Partnership. Was the treasurer simply rubber stamping the mayor’s orders, or was she responsible to the external auditor and so justified in raising the alarm of the mayor’s payments to parties which statute prevents payments following the collapse of the partnership.

Joseph Slights who oversees the case has seemed reluctant to determine the role and limit of powers of public officials and will no doubt welcome the news that the parties are going to try and resolve their issues with the assistance of an independent mediator.

Jones-Potter's attorney, Theodore Kittila, reflects my own thoughts that "It is a shame that the city and the mayor did not seek to mediate the dispute at the outset. This could have saved the taxpayers a great deal of money."

I feel like the mediation news this week is all about other people paying for the mediation or it being offered for free! Int his article news is that litigants in some Supreme Court cases (Singapore) under the SGUnited Mediation Initiative conducted by the Singapore Mediation Centre (SMC).

The statement from the court said "By achieving mutually acceptable outcomes from a successful mediation, parties can save costs as well as minimise the emotional toll that accompanies the litigation"

Ban Jiun Ean executive director of the SMC said mediation is a chance for those involved to "take a step back, reassess their interests and find creative or practical solutions together to move forward"

Well said that mediator.

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

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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