In its August 2005 resolution (Resolution ALJ-185), the Commission announced five basic principles that are the foundation of the CPUC ADR program:
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.
ADR should shorten, not prolong, proceedings. But even if a negotiated settlement takes longer, the result may be more beneficial to all.
Those who engage in ADR should do so in an attempt to reach agreement--not to delay or secure tactical advantage.
Most ADR processes require confidentiality so that the parties' fundamental interests can be explored.
The CPUC will expeditiously approve settlements that are legally sufficient.