Michael Fernandez is both a mediator and arbitrator with 30 years of experience in managing people, business contracts and contractual and non-contractual relationships and negotiations, employment and labor law including union and company issues, family, and community and non-profit situations.
Conflict has always existed in many forms and situations in everyday life. With the advent of the ease of information gathering, social media and other new technology, this has only increased conflict or the ability for conflict to escalate to a level where there is a need for a dispute resolution process to assist in eliminating disputes or turning disputes into a positive conflict situation verses a negative situation.
Two such conflict resolution processes that have grown into preferred methods of conflict resolution are mediation and arbitration.
• Mediation is the process where an impartial third party mediator participates by directing
the mediation process between the parties and facilitates the communication between the
parties to obtain a mutually satisfactory agreement.
– Allows the parties themselves to create the best outcome of the dispute for
– Completely Confidential; Meaning that nothing discussed during the mediation
process can be used at a later time against either party.
– The mediated agreement is considered a contract, so is enforceable just as
– Often required by courts prior to hearing case.
• Arbitration is different than a mediation in that an arbitration is where the parties select
an independent third party or panel that will determine the final binding agreement
between the parties.
– Parties provide input, however, do not have the final decision as this is left up to
– The decision of the Arbitrator is final and enforceable on all parties.
Traditional dispute resolution processes have been used in areas for legal purposes, such
as family law, collections, business and other civil law areas. But there are many opportunities for dispute resolution processes such as mediation and arbitration in other areas as well. These would include mediation for business to business issues, relating to contractual, contractual discussion or negotiations, organizational as between employees, groups of employees or management, labor or labor law issues, schools and even community and non-profit organizations.