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  • Writer's pictureEd Johnson

The benefits of 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 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.

We start with a bit of a reminder article from Jarburg Wilk lawyers about the best response to a request for mediation (spoiler alert it’s to say “yes”).

And as you will often see me repeating the benefits are set out in the piece written by Echo Reynolds, litigation is costly in terms of cash but also your life and energy because as Echo continues it is also hugely time consuming for you, your family, your employees and even that bloke at the coffee shop you’ve told about your problem. Litigation is also a gamble, constantly in my legal practice clients tell me they know they are right and will win, I have to remind them that the court doesn’t necessarily agree with them even if they are “right” it’s what is believed and what’s provable and often you are at the whim of a judge as to whose version of events they favour.

I like Echo’s comments on why mediation brings closure as well, there being little chance of everyone skipping away happy arm in arm with their former opponent (though I have seen it happen) but ending a dispute early allows you to move on, dwelling on it for the months a trial date takes to come around is soul destroying.

And of course she reminds us that the process is confidential so no one ever knows what was said, conceded or discussed.

Seriously why are you still litigating? Mediation is the only way forward.

Family law is where mediation remains best known and in New Philadelphia Ohio the Tuscarawas Juvenile court judge by the name of Adam Wilgus has set up a mediation program covering (and I use the US terms here) custody, visitation and child support.

By offsetting the cost of the program against fees already paid to the court the additional service will be free to those taking part or the tax payer. It seems a little late for mediation to be introduced so I am hoping that it is the new program rather than the process which is news worthy here.

The mediation process under this program only begins after court proceedings but as you will know if you’ve read Northwest Mediation’s blog regularly (and who doesn’t?) mediation need not wait for court proceedings and is often best started before you incur those first legal fees.

From the well recognised realm of family mediation to the less recognised but oh so important big business civil litigation mediation. We mentioned London International Disputes Week in our last blog and this article is another report from that week’s discussions – it’s a mini lecture on why external and in house counsel need to be more proactive in looking at mediation.

Both Counsel for electrical giant GE Teresa Garcia-Reyes and insurance mammoth Allianz’s Stephen Balthasar talked about the need to focus less on speed of ADR (arbitration in their particular discussion) but more on the confidentiality and tailor made resolutions that can be reached in ADR, much more helpful to companies is reaching a solution that works for everyone than battering the court door down and demanding a costs only solution.

Veolia’s senior group counsel Alison Pearsall also addressed the need for internal recognition of the availability of mediation and other ADR forms.

“One of the challenges that we face in-house is building awareness within the company of ADR,” adding comment that using an external mediator can be an admission that in house counsel hasn’t quite been able to find a settlement and someone outside might and further saying it is important to have ADR as a policy within the company “because it alleviates the need to have a clause in the contract…it is just the policy…Is our goal to fight arbitration all the way to the end, is it to spur negotiations, what are they trying to do?”

Teresa Garcia-Reyes also critiqued the lack of training in mediation during lawyers’ training, I remember watching the mediation competition a few years back as a judge and being impressed that not only did mediation exist as a module in some law degree courses but that there was competition for a skill which in effect is not about getting one over someone else (often the impression given of lawyers’ approach).

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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