Preparing for Mediation in a Multiparty Construction Dispute Chapter 23
David I. Bristow, Q.C., is a principal in Toronto’s Team Resolution, an ADR unit of GSN&H Consulting Inc. He is a panel member of the American Arbitration Association, the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, the International Chamber of Commerce and, in Canada, ADR Chambers and the Private Court.
Zimba Moore is a barrister-at-law England and Wales (Middle Temple) at the Legal Services Commission in London. The original article was adapted from an address delivered to a Continuing Legal Education forum of the Canadian Bar Association in Ontario in February 2001. The forum focused on the subject of ADR as an “all-terrain vehicle” suited to the resolution of disputes in diverse areas of legal practice.
The players at the casino gaming table bring to mind those that appear at a mediation room. There are the rich and urbane, the wild-eyed, the loud-speaking, the secretive silent players who make notes of every throw of the dice, and the backers who do not play and have appointed others to play for them. Different languages are spoken, many dialects are heard and a wide range of morals is usually found among the players. These factors pose a difficult job to the boxman who oversees the gambling table, as well as the mediator.
All good boxmen and all good mediators must possess the following attributes:
Respect: Respect is essential. If it is lost, the game can degenerate into a chaotic state. The mediator’s impartiality and reputation must not be diminished by his or her actions at any time in the mediation process. So too with the boxman.
Concentration: The boxman must keep total concentration at every moment of the game and know where each player at the table stands at all times. He or she must make split-second decisions which may decide the entire direction of the game and although outwardly appearing detached, the boxman must be constantly vigilant. So too the mediator.