THE FLEXIBILITY OF MEDIATION EPISODE 2

FLEXIBILITY OF MEDIATION

Written by Graham Perry

Graham Perry M.A. Cantab FCIArb Experienced Arbitration Lawyer | China & Chinese Business Affairs | Public Speaker/Lecturer

6 August 2021

ARBITRATION #150

A recap. A 40-year-old father of 3 is killed in a car crash. The wife + children are distraught. An issue has arisen as to the cause of the crash – a burst tyre. Was it the fault of the garage that installed the new tyre or the tyre manufacturer or the car manufacturer due to faulty design?

Writs have been served. There is a Directions Hearing. The Wife attends. She has the opportunity to be heard – unusual in a Directions Hearing but the Judge senses, correctly, that she should speak – a ‘victim statement’ so to speak.

She is taut + tense and speaks with feeling. “My husband kissed me and the children + died in the crash. Our lives have been destroyed. I need to know why + the children, too, when they grow up. We are angry, devastated + locked in pain. He did nothing wrong. We did nothing wrong. Our lives are frozen. We need to know why he died”

The Judge, in light of the Wife’s statement, invites the defendant’s lawyers to meet with the wife’s lawyers + to consider the next steps in the action. The meeting takes place – again with the wife present. The three defence lawyers fidget uncomfortably as the Wife again speaks with feeling. She wants a settlement; it is a big claim; she is being pressed financially as the Husband’s income (he was a senior public relations expert) has gone but most important she needs to be able to explain the crash to her children. The death was caused by one of the three companies, she says with feeling, + the three defence lawyers avert her gaze.

It so happens that two of the three lawyers were friends from Law School days. They start to discuss and the third lawyer joins in.

WHAT DO THE THREE DEFENCE LAWYERS DISCUSS? IS THERE AN OUTCOME?
EPISODE 3. 7 AUGUST 2021

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