"What I found profoundly unsatisfactory, and made my
views clear in the course of the argument, was the fact that the
parties have between them spent in the region of £100,000
arguing over a claim which was worth about £6,000. In the
florid language of the argument, I regarded them, one or other, if
not both, of them as 'completely cuckoo' to have engaged in
such expensive litigation with so little at stake ... In so many
cases, and this is just another example of one, the best time to
mediate is before the litigation begins. It is not a sign of
weakness to suggest it. It is the hallmark of commonsense.
Mediation is a perfectly proper adjunct to litigation. The skills
are now well developed. The results are astonishingly good. Try it
People who have been through litigation will know what an
expensive, time consuming and frustrating exercise it can be. This
is not helped by the fact that our courts, certainly as far as
civil trials are concerned, have become largely dysfunctional. Very
few parties - quite understandably - wish to wait two to three
years before their matter is resolved at trial.
What compounds the problem is that there are only winners and
losers. Courts, which are obliged to take crisp legal positions in
respect of disputes, do not concern themselves with compromises or
"fair" decisions. There is no middle way.
Arbitration, while it greatly reduces the time to resolve
disputes, does not resolve the other two problems with conventional
dispute resolution, namely its high cost and ultimate potential
For the resolution of many disputes, the time of mediation has
Mediation is nothing more than a process in terms of which the
parties to a dispute, under the guidance of an expert mediator,
attempt to reach a mutually acceptable resolution to their
conflict. The mediator is not a judge; she is an expert facilitator
who assists the parties, through the application of mediation
techniques and harmony, to resolve the conflict.
The great benefit of mediation is that it is a very short and
inexpensive process. Most mediations do not last more than a day -
albeit often a long and exhausting day - and most mediations are
successful. Statistics from mediations in the United Kingdom show
that approximately 80% of mediations lead to a negotiated solution
between the parties. Even if the initial mediation is not
successful, very often the parties have reached a point where they
are able to resolve the fight shortly thereafter.
But mediation is not bunny hugging. It is often a tough process.
The parties seldom "kiss and make up" or leave holding
hands. The parties reach a mutually acceptable solution, not
necessarily the ideal solution for each of them, but one which is
the best practical outcome. The advantages, namely an enormous
potential saving in time and cost, more than outweigh any
disadvantage in not achieving the ideal result.
Mediation is also best implemented early in the dispute before
parties' positions have hardened, and before they have invested
so much in litigation or arbitration that they cannot afford to
If you want to save time and money, and have less stress in your
life, give mediation a chance. As the Judge said, the results can
be astonishingly good.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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Generally, Garnishee proceedings is done in two different stages. The first stage is for the garnishee order nisi, while the second stage is for the garnishee order absolute.
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