Basic Principles of ADR


In its August 2005 resolution (Resolution ALJ-185), the Commission announced five basic principles that are the foundation of the CPUC ADR program:

VOLUNTARY
The parties usually must agree to submit their dispute to mediation or early neutral evaluation. An ALJ, however, may require parties to attend facilitated workshops, settlement conferences, or meet with a neutral to explore the feasibility of mediation.

TIMELINESS
ADR should shorten, not prolong, proceedings. But even if a negotiated settlement takes longer, the result may be more beneficial to all.

GOOD FAITH
Those who engage in ADR should do so in an attempt to reach agreement--not to delay or secure tactical advantage.

CONFIDENTIALITY
Most ADR processes require confidentiality so that the parties' fundamental interests can be explored.

COMMISSION APPROVAL
The Commission will expeditiously approve settlements that are legally sufficient.


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