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Victoria Pynchon

As the co-founder of She Negotiates Consulting and Training, I offer my services as a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant....

She Mediates

ADR Services, Inc.

She Negotiates

She Negotiates

The 33 cent wage and income gap is unacceptable and unnecessary. So is the cliché glass ceiling. Bottom line, our...

Wave Good-Bye to Mediation Confidentiality in the U.K.

From the Business Conflict Blog comes bad news from the U.K., Mediator as Witness, Just When You Thought it Was Safe (excerpt below):

John Richardson, that worthy and thoughtful New York mediator, has brought to our attention a decision by Hon. Mr. Justice Ramsey of the Royal Courts of Justice in England that seems to render unenforceable the commonplace contractual provisions immunizing mediators from testifying as to the conduct of the mediation.

In Farm Assist Limited vs. DEFRA, dated May 19, 2009, claimant sought to set aside a settlement agreement obtained after a mediation that took place in 2003, on the ground that it was entered into under economic duress. Defendant requested that the mediator, Jane Andrewartha, be compelled to give evidence as to what happened at the mediation. Claimant did not object. The court ordered that, in the first instance, she produce her files and, eventually, that she give a witness statement.

If you take the time to read the opinion, you'll see that the confidentiality protections at risk here do not arise solely from the parties' contract, but also from the case law.  Not good news for U.K. mediation practice.

Hat tip for the head's up to Jeff Gordon, he of the Software Licensing Handbook who is in my twitter network (@negot8or) (follow him!)

Comments (2)

Read through and enter the discussion by using the form at the end
Deborah Rothman - September 24, 2009 1:24 AM

Victoria Pynchon, you are the MOST CONNECTED person I know!

Vickie Pynchon - September 24, 2009 10:30 AM

It's a blogger-twitter thing. People scoff, but my online community is my virtual law firm without the pesky fights over partner compensation!

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