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legalpickle

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  1. sexyfufu, Sorry for the delay in responding to this & your PM's. I am thankfully on holiday and enjoying myself immensely! Considering I haven't been on holiday in 4 years this was a long overdue holiday! Your PM looks pretty good. I would however recommend having either somebody near you to bounce figures off at the time if a slightly lower offer is given. I would also recommend calculating what the percentage of your claim - both with interest at the date of issue and without interest at the date of issue - the bottom line figure is. Don't say you'll waive some claims if they settle others, as this could be seen as an admission of weakness in some parts of the claim. Only do things in percentages. Decisions are normally made on the day in the mediation session, though sometimes - especially with larger companies - they need to go back to get final authorisation for the amount, in which case they may not be able to give a final answer for a couple of days. Once they have agreed, you should ask for confirmation of their agreement by e-mail and/or fax, and the cheque paid - in full - within 14 days. Once you receive payment, we'll prepare a notice of discontinuance. I am not saying whether or not your figures are acceptable. Only you can say this. If you feel you accepted too little afterwards because I advised you that way you will forever regret it. Regarding your breakdown. I recommend you go slightly into a bit more detail. Use harsh words, like 'atrocious', 'disgusting', 'dangerous', 'scary' and the like. These expressions will impress more upon the mediator how angry, disappointed, upset and frustrated you were, so he/she can forward that onto VH. Explain that it was your honeymoon, and instead of an enjoyable once in a lifetime experience with amazing memories, you only have atrociously depressing and painful memories of it - which can never be repaired! It's Ok to be emotional, just not TOO emotional. You're a litigant-in-person and it's an emotional case. Good Luck! Please keep me posted on Friday!
  2. PM me what you think. I don't think that before the mediation you should post it up here, in case they are looking. I'm in London at the moment, but will try to look through your PM tomorrow afternoon when I get back home. I'll be MAD busy this week though as I'm going on holiday on Thursday, so am working like a dog on Tuesday & Wednesday. Remind me when the mediation is please?
  3. Was going to type this up later but found it in another thread I dealt with and changed it, so could do it a lot quicker. First. Copied from the info sheet provided by Manchester County Court for mediation: What is mediation? In mediation, each side to a dispute has a chance to put its case and to hear what the other side has to say. A mediator helps both sides reach agreement about how a dispute should be settled. To get the best out of the process it is important that the parties understand it and come prepared. What does it involve? You will talk to a mediator who has been trained to help people to settle their disputes. The mediator is not a Judge. He or she will not take sides or decide who is right or who is wrong. They cannot give advice. If you have a telephone appointment, then please ensure that you are free from any interruptions and possible distractions. The time for the appointment is usually 1 hour. However, the mediator and parties may decide that more time is needed to facilitate an agreement. The telephone negotiations may take place on the same day or carried over until another mutually convenient day. What happens at the telephone mediation appointment? What usually happens is that the mediator will phone one party first. He or she will briefly explain what the process is about. You will be given the chance to tell the mediator what your case is about and what you are looking for. Be brief. Remember that the mediator is not a Judge. Within the sessions, try to work with the mediator to find a solution. Be frank. What you say is confidential; you may know something that will help the mediator in talking to the other side. After this first session, the mediator will phone the other party to see what their case is all about and what they are looking for. These are private sessions. The mediator will not tell the other side what he or she has been told unless given permission to do so. However, the mediator will be looking for solutions to problems and will be interested in what each side needs. When the mediator is with the other side, use your time. Think about what has been discussed. Consider what you may be able to offer or accept. Decide exactly what your needs are. By moving between sides, carrying information, suggestions, ideas, explanations or offers, the mediator will seek to help everyone to reach a solution to their dispute. If you reach agreement, remember that it will be binding on you, and the court proceedings will be ended. Make sure you can comply with the agreement. If agreement is reached, a memorandum of the terms will be prepared by the mediator and an order will be made staying the claim except for the enforcement of the agreement. Note: This is not always the case. This is why it is agreed a party will make a certain amount of payments each month or a long term agreement is in place. If an immediate settlement is agreed upon, then the claim is kept live till the settlement is received, when the claim is discontinued, rather than wasting a District Judge's time and more time in formulating the exact terms of the agreement. If agreement is not reached, the normal court timetable will continue and the legal action will go ahead. However, remember that the negotiations and any terms of settlement proposed during the mediation appointment are confidential and cannot be repeated once proceedings have been referred back to court. Even if the mediation does not end with agreement between the two sides, you may find it was helpful and that each side understands the other’s point of view more clearly. You can always try to settle the case at a later date between the mediation and the date fixed for the hearing. Now onto the relevant bits: I have found that some mediators like to discuss the case in detail and take each sides arguments. I disagree with this route. Mainly, because on the telephone it is a lot easier to slip up. If everything's written, there's no way what you didn't mean can be used against you. I therefore believe in recapping the very basics of the case and when the mediator starts chatting about the other sides defence, state, I've read their defence [and if relevant at the time any further documents that have been served] and know what they say. I've responded to it, and they know I disagree. This mediation is not going to get us to agree with one another, and I don't expect it to. Bottom line, is I want to know how much they're willing to offer to settle. The next problem, is mainly with large companies. They don't like making offers and like to get you to make the first move. I always refuse to do this. The usual process should be that the defendant makes the first offer, and the claimant a counter-offer if necessary. So, this is what I recommend: 1) When the mediator calls you to ask you about your claim, summarize. Here is an approximate summary of your case, but due to my lack of time it is incomplete. I suggest you prepare a short concise summary - that takes you no longer than 5 minutes to recount - based on the below, and post it up here a few days before the mediation, so that we can proof it. Part 1: I booked a honeymoon with VH and they botched things up. I am seeking the monies that I paid for some of the "services" that were not provided satisfactorily, losses I incurred & compensation as an integral part of the contract is that enjoyment would be provided. Part 2: The second Defendant (MBNA) is jointly and severally liable under s75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 as part of the payment for the "services" to be provided by VH was paid for by credit card provided by MBNA. Tell the mediator how much you claimed on the date of issue (including interest on that date) and how much interest has been added till the current date. That's the total you're due tomorrow. (To reach the interest due on the date of mediation just times the daily interest figure of 74p by the amount of days between the date the claim was issued and the date of mediation). Tell the mediator that if the Defendant settles now, they have to pay the issue fee - £108 - & AQ fee - £35 - so the court fees are £143; but not the hearing fee as more than a week is left till the hearing, but if they don't settle quickly then they'll have to pay another £300 for the hearing fee and additional daily interest that you won't waive. Next: The mediator will call you back, most likely with a whole load of arguments on behalf of VH. What I would do is say this: "I know the Defendant's arguments and have responded to them in writing. I disagree with them and they disagree with me. I think it is a waste of everybody's time to use this important session to argue over the issues, when I'm not going to agree with them and they're not going to agree with me. Bottom line is I want to know how much they're willing to settle at. I want a settlement, not an argument over who's right." Be polite but firm! The mediator will probably ask you what your bottom line is. Say that you want to hear what they want to offer, first and then will see. I suggest you don't go below 85% of the total after interest PLUS the court fees. Work that out before the session. If you have a higher figure in mind, take it. If they offer more than that, take it, but that is unlikely. If they offer less than that, tell the mediator that you think that's ridiculous, but in the interests of closing the matter once and for all will accept 95%. The mediator may ask your bottom line, respond that that is it. If they accept, good. If they offer between that and your bottom line, fine. If not, go down by 5% to 90%. Then to 87.5%, then to 85% as absolute bottom line. Don't lower by too much, or they'll push you further down. Decide your absolute bottom line before you begin. I usually say not below 85%. Work out all the calculations and percentages before and keep them on a clear sheet of paper. What you need to do is work out which parts of your claim you think are more solid and which are weaker. Reach a figure based on those that you think are rock solid, deduct interest and reduce by 15%. This should be your absolute bottom line. Only you can make this decision. NOTE: The mediation meeting is completely without prejudice. It cannot be disclosed to a judge, except that it has taken place, if you don't reach an agreement. If you don't succeed, then ask the mediator to reiterate this to the Defendant. It must be made clear that you will only discontinue when the cheque arrives. When you get the cheque, cash it immediately and advise us and I'll prepare a Notice of Discontinuance for you. It would be ideal if they provide a fax number for VH legal/solicitors & MBNA legal/solicitors (if possible) so the Notice of Discontinuance can be faxed. Ultimately it is your decision what you accept. You must be happy with it as otherwise you will forever be wondering what would have happened had you gone to hearing and debating if you made the right move or not. But, don't be too tough because your case is ultimately one which depends on how disgusted the Judge is with VH. If they make a 'Without Prejudice, Save As To Costs' offer recounting their offer that they make in mediation and the Judge thinks that was fair it could work against you. Though it's small claims and costs are remote, it is remote and not impossible. You will need to impress on the mediator - and if it reaches hearing the Judge - how terrible VH and their contracted parties were. If you have any questions please ask ASAP.
  4. What's good about the North? I live in Mancyland and it sucks! Think this is it: Priscilla Queen of the Desert - The Musical Studying at the mo, will try sometime late tonight/early morning tomorrow.
  5. sexyfufu, Good to hear you had a good burpday break! Happy Burpday! Many Happy Returns! Will try to post sometime late tonight or early morning. Soz for delay, legalpickle
  6. I wrote remind me next week Saturday night, so remind me when you get back. Won't have time till then for sure.
  7. PLEASE DO NOT POST UP HERE & PM ME, IT IS ANNOYING!!! I get an e-mail when there's an update and when you PM me, so doing both is just plain frustrating!
  8. By VM I think you mean Virgin Media. This case is against Virgin Holidays which is a completely different company. ? If I recall correctly this is the head of Virgin Media, not Virgin Holidays. The two are completely separate companies. See: http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source=web&ct=res&cd=1&ved=0CAgQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.digitalspy.co.uk%2Fforums%2Fshowthread.php%3Ft%3D601552&rct=j&q=%2B%22virgin+media%22+%2B%22legal+department%22+%2Bbond&ei=APi8S-fJJcb6_AauzMm-Bg&usg=AFQjCNFpBu6A4rm8uMhX2AU2qiEMSPPi2g I agree on VM, but not VH. Virgin Holidays is a holiday company which is completely different to broadband/telecoms companies. Telecoms companies are used to negative publicity. Holiday companies get seriously damaged by such publicity and are a lot more likely to avoid such negative publicity.
  9. As expected. It is too risky for them to lose. Bad publicity is VERY bad for such large companies, and there are enough newspapers only too happy to print stories where pictures are available. Remind me on Saturday night 24th April to brief you on mediation please.
  10. frettful38, Sorry to be harsh, but it winds me up when people ramble! I know you've been through one helluva fight and it's probably not over yet; but as I've told you more than once before the more you focus on all the surrounding issues the more it will eat you inside - I talk from experience! The sooner you stop focusing on it the more sane you will be. At least if you have to focus on it, please don't make my life a misery with all the useless update messages! Thanks, legalpickle
  11. If you have an e-mail address for somebody in Virgin, call the mediator and provide it to them, asking them to e-mail them. The chances are higher of a response if they have a personal or small departmental e-mail address than with a letter - especially relying on Royal Snail!
  12. We'll deal with it when and if we need to! Till then I'm busy!
  13. Sorry frettful38 but the only thing I can say in response is: life sux!
  14. You two. It's Passover (intermediate days at the mo, hence my posts) and I'm suffering from unleavened bread (matza) - hope it passes over quickly
  15. As expected. In response to your other post later on in this thread, the court staff cannot give advice about the odds of a case succeeding. Even if permission to appeal is refused, IT can appeal that permission. Just hang in there.
  16. ktbelle, Thank you for your compliments. From what you say you clearly have the right to issue court proceedings and refuse any offer you deem unfit. Asking questions on another person's thread - especially whilst it's ongoing - is considered "hijacking" and against CAG rules (and general internet forum etiquette); thus it would be best if you started your own thread and hopefully somebody will try to help you. Unfortunately I am far too busy to commit to another thread. Good Luck, legalpickle
  17. I think you're talking about a different type of defendant to IT!
  18. Never heard of that before, but so be it. Good. Keep us posted. Make a note to chase them up in 14 days if you haven't heard from them yet.
  19. Hi sexyfufu & all, 1) I have just sent sexyfufu a PM regarding settlement negotiations, recommending an e-mail to Virgin Holidays to try and prompt settlement. As covered further up in the thread, I am recommending the details of this are kept out of the thread until such time as they are successful, if that is the case, or the case is complete. 2) Mediation: I note in the order that the details of the free small claims mediation advice service was given. I always recommend that people utilise this service. I will cover it in more detail if either Virgin Holidays or MBNA (or both) agree to mediation as well, when such a time is agreed. Mediation is by telephone through a non involved specialist mediator and is free for small claims cases. I myself have had lots of positive experience with the mediation service and am very in favour of parties trying to settle cases by mediation. I therefore recommend that you call the mediation service. Explain to them that it is not necessary that MBNA partake in the mediation, but would be good if they did, i.e. that mediation should still go ahead if Virgin Holidays agree but MBNA don't. Provide them with your contact details, claim number, court where the case is ongoing (each few mediation officers cover an area of courts, which may not necessarily be the same court), scheduled date of hearing, e-mail address, the details of the other parties & your availability over the next 4 weeks. Please keep us posted. legalpickle
  20. Oy, that thought ain't allowed to enter your head woman!
  21. I'm surprised it doesn't say anything about the hearing fee. I suggest you call the court on Monday and ask if there is a hearing fee to pay, and if yes they should re-issue the court order. If not, why? There should be a hearing fee of £300 to pay. You might ask why not hope there is none and not pay it. The answer is because it could get struck out if there is one to pay and that would mean you'd have to go through a lot of hassle to get it re-listed.
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