Photo credit: Creative Commons Jean M.Mas 2/2007 Although my mediation training made no mention of it, 32 years of mediating have taught me that mediations generally unfold over two stages: Stage 1: “Who Did What to Whom”? Here parties (or their lawyers) follow the ritual of naming, blaming and claiming – recounting facts, providing evidence…

Photo credit: Christof Häuser, via Nathalie Birli We mediators are accustomed to recognising empathy as an important part of our mediation repertoire which is consistently reinforced in our training and professional development. It is front of mind for many of us as we plan for and conduct our mediations. This blog has seen its fair…

In the words of the late Sir Laurence Street, former Chief Justice of New South Wales (1974-1988) and subsequently Australia’s leading mediator: “A court that makes available a judge or a registrar to conduct a true mediation is forsaking a fundamental precept upon which public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the court system…

Although infrequent, court cases against mediators are illuminating, helping us avoid being dragged into court ourselves. Here’s an example In Tapoohi v Lewenberg & Ors (No 2) [2003] VSC 410, the Supreme Court of Victoria, Australia, considered it arguable that a mediator owes a duty of care to the disputants. The mediated dispute This was…

[Picture credit: creative commons]

[Picture credit: creative commons] Court cases not only determine issues between litigating parties, they provide guidance for others facing similar situations. For mediators and for disputants alike, they can help us identify and avoid difficulties we might not have previously contemplated. Here’s one example In Robert Samuel McCosh v David A R Williams [2003] NZCA 192,…

Recent blogs by Haris Meidanis on compulsory mediation in Greece prompt me to consider how lucky we are in Australia. Compulsion into mediation is common here. Outcomes are similar to voluntary mediation. It is sometimes argued that mandatory mediation is a contradiction in terms because mediation is “a voluntary process”. This view was adopted by…

(This post is being republished because of technical problems when it was first published) The recently reported Australian case of Ku-ring-gai Council v Ichor Constructions Pty Ltd [2018] NSWSC 610 (8 May 2018) provides a useful lesson in how not to conduct the hybrid Arb-Med-Arb process, from which (I hope) we might learn how to…

In Australia we have long experience of compulsory mediation prior to litigation in cases where a presumed power imbalance exists – such as retail tenancy and farm debt disputes. However, compulsory mediation by order of a court has been a controversial topic, particularly amongst judges, most of whom do not have actual mediation experience and…