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  • Writer's pictureEd Johnson

Reflection in mediation

With the continued backlog of cases 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 should we add we also do live in person mediation too! So please do not feel that you cannot contact us if you would like to mediate but wish to do so remotely.

I’m sure all my regular reader missed last week’s blog, it was PPC day which meant a full on discussion about where the work is, where I’m aiming and what the next development steps for me are. It won’t surprise you that reflection is part of our business, after every mediation mediators are encouraged to reflect on what worked, what didn’t and where improvements can be made. It’s an important step each time as not only does it allow you to actually see what you do badly but encourage yourself with what went well. Self congratulations is something we’re not wholly comfortable with in the British psyche (certain ex PMs not withstanding) but it is something we can do to help ourselves. Reflection is part of what we do with clients as well literally reflecting their comments back and asking them to consider what they or the other party ahs just said and what, more importantly, drives that feeling. Congratulations is also something I offer clients, not just for turning up and paying me but when they commit to the process the results are always positive - I’m not eulogising, I’m not a missionary….I met a missionary once he said it was interesting position.

So this week who is looking to reflect on how they might improve their situation?

You’ll recall we talked about the crypto currency issue a few weeks ago well now the period for mediation has been extended.

Genesis and its parent Digital Currency Group are in dispute with their creditors about the amounts owed and restructuring has been extended to the end of this week with the parties and the court accepting that bankruptcy mediations are rarely straightforward.

Now a normal civil mediation takes a day sometimes less, very occasionally they’ll take a couple of days, family mediations are different as the need to reflect and change (sometimes) is needed between sessions. Civil the reflection process is still needed but generally please don’t think a mediation about your contract/neighbour/debt will take many days to deal. Employment is a different matter as often there is work to be done with both parties between sessions especially if when you start talking to clients the background becomes ever more complicated and involved.

What I’m trying to say is don’t think that mediation will take as long as court (it would really struggle to be that slow at the moment!).

I’ve spent some time in the hills this weekend reflecting so it’s good to see a nature reserve being subject to mediation. The Chehalem Park and recreation district wants to build a bridge at Ewing Young park over the Chehalem Creek.

The bridge would open up new tracts of land to the park users (and disc golf course) Don Clements, superintendent of the park has said that mediation is far more preferable to the Land Use Board of Appeals (much like the land tribunal over this side of the pond who do great work but whose costs and delays are another story).

Citing the saving on costs Don said that “every effort should be made not to cost the taxpayers huge sums of money, so that’s the effort we’re going to make).

The local county authorities rely on the definition of parks not including bridges, I mean of all the nonsense I’ve come across in planning laws that a park has to be bridgeless is bizarre, it can only be based on other reasons. Think of all the parks in the UK then think of them without bridges, local to me is Bramhall park, three bridges link the whole site together, all the trails I walk have bridges of one sort or another (though on one occasion last year one turned out to be a hay bail).

As Don says don’t waste money get into mediation.

Staying with rivers the Biden team has said that it is working with all parties to try and resolve the Snake River dam issues by mediation.

Alyssa Roberts communications director at the white house council on environmental quality said “We are committed to working together to bring healthy and abundant salmon runs back to the Columbia River System and honouring federal commitments to tribal nations while supporting local and regional economies — including critically important agricultural production and transportation…This includes attempting to mediate long-running litigation with the help of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.”

The parties are trying to find a long term solution for the Columbia River System and whether breaching the four lower dams on the Snake would be a solution as proposed by some.

Those in favour of the dam breaching are opposed by agricultural parties (landowners and farmers) whose property and profits would be impacted by the action, some of them have alleged there is a presumption in favour of the breach but still accept that mediation is the best way forward.

The three pillars of mediation remain it’s voluntary, it’s confidential, the mediator is independent, by using those pillars to support your work the parties keep control, save costs, save time and energy and reduce stress. Finally this one is mediation, mediator jointly appointed, areas of discussion agreed and intention to be bound by the outcome.

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 choose a different path, not quite the road less travelled but perhaps the path less adversarial. 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 me at Northwest Mediation on 0161 667 4418 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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