Arbitration is the alternative to a negotiated settlement of a grievance. At arbitration, the parties present sworn evidence and argument to the arbitrator. The arbitrator issues a final and binding decision in writing with reasons. By its nature, arbitration is uncertain in terms of result, time and cost of litigation. Arbitration imposes solutions with winners and losers.

Mediation is an alternative to arbitration. In mediation, the arbitrator assists the parties in negotiating their own resolution of the dispute. Mediation is more flexible and creative than arbitration. In mediation, the parties explore their underlying interests to fashion their own solution, rather than only focusing on their strict legal rights. In mediation, the parties retain control over the terms of their settlement, and control their costs to achieve it. Mediation is less likely than arbitration to negatively affect the parties' continuing relationship.

When resolving disputes, I will always inquire what process the parties consider most appropriate to resolve their differences. If the parties agree to mediation, I will assist them in their effort to negotiate a mutually satisfactory resolution to their dispute. If the parties believe that arbitration is a more appropriate process to resolve their differences, the hearing should proceed fairly and expeditiously.