2012-12-29 – Joint Statement, an update from the teams involved in MEDIATION

2012 December 29

Dear sisters and brothers, Margiis and the public,

The mediation meeting which took place on a weekend in mid-September 2012 yielded results which, now that they have been filed in the courts, may be shared openly. The September event was the first step in the mediation effort. This letter explains, generally, what the results are so far and what we can expect the process to be, going forward.

The appeal to the original court decision has not been dropped. The appeal process is currently on hold in order to see if more progress can be made through mediation. It is not yet clear how long the appeal process will be on hold, but it could be as long as six months from the time the request was made to the court in October.

There were four basic agreements from the first mediation effort.

The first was a settlement of the attorney’s fees, which had been granted to the defendants by the court. As a result of this agreement, there is no longer any financial burden to the plaintiffs by the court process.

The second was an agreement that there will be no further legal action by either side against the other to collect attorney’s fees, including from the ongoing appeal.

The third was an agreement which ensures the continued functioning of the Portland New Day School, a long-standing Neohumanist school in Portland, Oregon.

The fourth was an agreement to continue with mediation. The mediation teams are hoping for renewed discussions to begin in January facilitated as needed by a neutral mediator. There are plenty of issues still on the table including the status of some projects and properties around the USA.

Please understand that while negotiations are underway it is necessary not to jeopardize potential progress by discussing it publicly and openly before the mediation efforts are finalized.

We apologize for the frustration felt by many of you regarding sparse news and communications. We ask for your patience while we see how far these negotiations can take us. We will send out further information as soon as possible without causing harm to the confidential mediation process.

Thank you to all for your patience and understanding while we see how far the efforts to reconcile can take us.

The Mediation Teams