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<James Causton>
On returning to my office today I found an e-mail from a person about a tree dispute, when I checked my messages on the answering machine I had a message from the other party in the same dispute.
Both the e-mail and message left some references to the problem but obviously from different perspectives. Would appreciate any input regarding a "conflict of interest" based on the two communications!!

Thanks, James.
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Reply to post by James Causton, on September 28, 2002 at 20:37:43:

2 cents from someone who has been excluded several times due to conflict but being as objective as possible: Sounds like you have only 2nd hand info so far, and are free to speak w either party.

Perhaps the best service you could give them both would be to advise them you've heard from both, and offer to mediate/arbitrate. Save them both money and time but give them both a fair and impartial hearing. If you didn't know either before the calls, you're in the clear.

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<Phil Bjorkman>
Reply to post by guy, on September 28, 2002 at 20:37:43:

Mediation is a voluntary procedure where neither party is obliged to accept the decision or opinion of the mediator. In CA this would almost always be required by the Court if a lawsuite was filed as the first step in the judicial process. Arbitration is a procedure whereby the parties agree in advance that the decision of the arbitrator is final and cannot be appealed to the arbitrator or the courts. Arbitration is a more formal legal procedure. Many lawyers discourage their clients from signing arbitration agreements or arbitration clauses in their contracts as they can limit their rights of appeal.
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