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  • Writer's pictureEd Johnson

Top tips for mediation, and a bit of news

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.

I love a good tips article here are 6 tips from Paul Linsell at Boyes Turner LLP for clients prepping for your online mediation.

1. Get used to the platform (zooms is the best by the way Teams is in my humble opinion rubbish by comparison);

2. Make sure your internet is stable – this includes making sure no one starts using the microwave or downloading the latest Call of Duty while you’re online (believe me these things impact your speeds);

3. Charge your devices, please, in the middle of an inheritance mediation I lost one party and they had to go down the road to find a charger before re-joining after a 20 minute gap;

4. No distractions, I like to see people’s pets but for god’s sake they don’t need to be on the keyboard or in front of the camera for you or me; have information to hand, it really helps if you are telling me that you have a signed agreement to have it to hand, although in any civil mediation we’ll ask for documents long before we get into session but if something new has just come up have it available, and possibly on a separate device if it’s electronic;

5. Get comfortable, I have two chairs in the office depending on which hat I’m wearing but one is the better for long calls, but for the client wherever works for you, but please not bed (too often) and not the bath (thankfully not so far). By the way teh VDU regs and guidance for positioning your laptop are worth a look looking down at a funnny angle for 2+ hours is a real pain in the neck.

Meanwhile Fiona Read from Russell Cooke has three top tips for lawyers preparing for hybrid mediation. Hybrid feels like a new type of mediation to family mediators, where the mediator and lawyers work with clients to find a solution, in civil claims it’s more often than not been the case so I am an old hand at this and am never particularly phased by the chance of lawyers being present. Yes they can be difficult sometimes but most are simply trying to get the best result for their client.

Fiona suggests that when you are working collaboratively you should work with (not agin) your mediator, allow plenty of time and be creative. Creativity is one of the key skills for a mediator, mediation so often comes up with solutions that neither party (or lawyers) have thought about, the apology, the joint approach to the bosses about working conditions, the change in the method of communication, all these are ideas which I have used to help resolve disputes and were not solutions in the original pleaded case as part of the claim.

And some folks who might need a bit of advice on prep for mediation are the St Joseph County Council, Indiana, where the democrats are suing the all republican council for what they call unlawful redistricting (I think gerrymandering is the term I’m familiar with and which is similar in aim and rather spurious nature – it’s happening here in Cheshire as well where the Tories are trying to redistribute voters to increase the odds of more safe Tory seats….insert wry comment about Bury South). Now both sides have asked for Joseph Hostetler, former judge, to act as mediator for them in an effort to avoid further court time being spent and to find a workable solution for all involved…get comfy folks it won’t be a short one.

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.

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 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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