Thursday, April 6


Two things.

Today I pulled out of a mediation briefly – the short story is my 14 year old fell over and broke his arm.

The long story is if he hadn’t been playing cricket on concrete with his shoe laces undone, yady yady ya...

My post on mediators’ stuff happening outside the mediation room
reads well here.

Second thing.

I picked him up from
school, went to the medical centre, saw a doctor, got x-rayed, saw the doctor again who slapped on a plaster cast – all for NZ$27 (that’s about US$20).

Reason – in New Zealand we have a
no-fault personal injury system called ACC and there is no liability for personal injury.

When we are injured by accident we don't sue, instead the State pays our medical costs and any lump sum compensation. (A personal injury is a physical injury, a mental injury caused by a physical one or mental injury after sexual assault or abuse).

Even if you're visiting New Zealand you can claim - as long as you are injured in New Zealand (but don’t fall on your cruise ship gangplank or airline airbridge, as the cases say you are not really here yet). It even covers us when we visit you.

It’s a stretch but this connects to mediation.

Because of ACC there is no medical malpractice litigation industry, therefore no med/mal mediation, therefore no high volume repeat business.

What that means is that there is no ADR sausage factory.... as a commercial mediator this kiwi gets no med/mal, no slip and steady bread and butter stuff that I hear you guys in the US talking about (and unrelated to that, no employment mediation as the
government provides salaried mediators to do all employment disputes).

BUT it means those in private mediation practice have come of age on extremely diverse 'pure' commercial/business mediations that are usually multi faceted with non dollar issues for traction.

Volumes are not ideal but it means competition is keen and if you can get the work, its a healthy low cal diet.

I know there is
some thought of medical liability reform in California to shut the med/mal industry down and some mediators are flipping out over the prospect of that work disappearing.

But the day mediation needs litigation rather than the other way around, things are screwed anyway.

Bottom line?
Try getting your arm in plaster for $20.

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