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Loquitur

Judicial Mediation - urgent

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Hello anyone who can help. I am representing myself at an ET and at the last case conference we were asked to consider Judicial Mediation. I responded in the given period that I would be interested and have now had a notice of a case management discussion by telephone. This is to: (a) consider whether the parties wish to proceed with a Judicial Mediation, (b) if so to make appropriate arrangements for the conduct of the JM, and © give any other directions which may be necessary.So far so clear. However I am confused by two things: one is that this CMD has been given a time allocation of 1 hour - given the agenda this seems somewhat excessive, and secondly we are asked that if we wish to refer to documents copies must be faxed/emailed to the Tribunal, again given the agenda I cannot think what documents anyone could wish to refer to.Am I missing something? Is this not a straightforward 'do we proceed with a JM or not and if so when, where, how should it be held etc?Any thoughts useful - the CMD is imminent. Thanks.

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This happened to me many years ago when I had an accident at work, the union I was in recommended one of their solicitors as it was an accident and they could not lose. However, the solicitors got the same amount of compensation as I did for doing the negotiations.

 

I was asked if I would consider JM and I sought the solicitors advice and they told me that it was not a good idea, I can see why they advised of me of not going down that route they would have lost big time.

 

Best of Luck

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Thanks for that. I did have this information as it was supplied by the judge in order for me to decide whether this was an avenue I wished to pursue. i am clear (I think) about how JM works, what I am not clear about is the point of this case management discussion. If it is just to agree whether or not we go to JM and when it is held etc. why do we need to refer to any documents or take an hour deciding?

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My wife and I had this same problem earlier in the year. Our solicitors dealt with it though. From what I gathered after there was a long discussion as to the history of the case. That included all the legal wrangling that went on. The Judge later described this as "judicial skirmishing." he came to the conclusion that there had been too much bad blood between the parties for a JM to proceed.

 

In a second linked case still going on against the union for not representing my wife when I raised a the issue of JM at the CMD I was told that JM did not occur until after the parties had exchanged witness statement and were in effect ready for trial.

 

Now call me old fashioned but to get to that stage there is possibly a lot of "judicial skirmishing" to come and I concluded the ET Judges don't want JM. I also don't see the need for JM because if you are ready for the trial and ready to go into court the Respondent will probably be more ready to settle then because they won't want the cost of the barrister especially if it is a long trial. Conclusion JM is pointless which is probably what the lawyers conclude too.

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Thanks Papasmurf, the bit about Judicial Skirmishing is very helpful. i was assuming that this was not the place where any detailed discussion about the claim itself would take place but it seems this will be the nub of the meeting. This means that I will have to do much more detailed preparation. As both sides had to formally indicate whether they were interested at all in JM the fact that we were progressing this at all indicated that the respondent had also confirmed their interest so one would assume they were not digging in their heels completely otherwise why not reject JM outright and go straight to the hearing?

 

Not sure about the reference to when a JM would be held as I thought the whole point was to ease the pressure on the system as there is almost another year before the hearing. Can see why lawyers might be keen to avoid JM in that case - think of all that money they then won't earn preparing witness statements etc. Or am I just being cynical?

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No you are not being cynical. Before a 3 week trial our solicitors sent us a letter basically stating that the £50,000 costs allocation by our insurer was almost used up. £30k to the barrister for the work done and for the trial and almost £20k to the solicitor. I think one thing for mediation to work is that both parties should be legally represented so any deal could be guaranteed. Perhaps that is one issue that you should have ie if the Respondent wants to progress the mediation then they should pay for the cost of a legal advisor for you. They may agree and you can then proceed to a negotiation. You could write to them before hand as a prerequisite to the CMD. If they don't want to know why should you bother with JM? You would be at a disadvantage. Proceeding to trial at least affords you access to the judge who would decide in a 'fair' way.

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I have spoken to ACAS and, as I understand it, if we come to an agreement at JM there is then a link up with ACAS to wrap it up and make it legally binding. The JM is also presided over by an ET judge who is specially trained in mediation. In truth I believe that both sides here would have a vested interest in clearing this up sooner rather than later. I will not have legal representation at a JM or a trial, I am afraid that my experience of representation has been that I could have done a better job myself. Guess this is where I put that theory to the test!

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I I am afraid that my experience of representation has been that I could have done a better job myself. Guess this is where I put that theory to the test!

 

You and me too!!!!!!!!!!! Good luck let us know how you get on.

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Thanks, will keep you posted.

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Update - the CMD went OK. All the judge really wanted to establish was that there was enough interest on both sides to reach a settlement to make a JM worthwhile. It ties up an employment judge for a day so they don't like to go ahead if it looks like it will still go to full tribunal. Looks like the JM will take place late October/early November.

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Sounds good so far, Loquitur. Fingers crossed for you.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Thanks honeybee - we'll see.

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Hi - just an update to say the JM went fine and a settlement was reached that I was satisfied with - just waiting for the cheque! Strange set-up though - we had 3 separate rooms with the judge in the middle room going back and forth as a go-between. When we reached an agreement we all met up in the judge's room and had an open phone call with ACAS while the judge hid in an ante-room! They had on their side: the senior manager, someone from their legal section and someone from HR, counsel, and counsel's pupil. I had: me and a friend. The whole day was a series of negotiations, I am pleased with how we handled it on our side and relieved that it is all over and I don't have to wait another six months preparing papers and witnesses for a 5 day hearing. I would recommend Judicial Mediation for anyone that is clear about their case and doesn't want to spend half their life dealing with it.

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Excellent, you did really well. Thank you for the update.

 

HB x


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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