Air Force General Counsel Blog The chief legal officer and chief ethics official of the Department of the Air Force

13Jul/130

Mediation in the Workplace

Workplace disputes exist in every workplace--even the NFL...

The Air Force has adopted the facilitative style of mediation for all workplace disputes. Mediation is a structured process in which a qualified neutral person uses interest-based problem-solving techniques to assist parties in resolving their issues in controversy. The interest-based problem-solving approach to dispute resolution is characterized by focusing on interests, not positions, creating options for mutual gain and using objective criteria to ensure legitimacy of any agreement reached. Federal Courts have advocated the use of mediation in their cases as well. See the NY Times article excerpted below here:

"The federal judge overseeing the case brought by thousands of former N.F.L. players who have accused the league of hiding the dangers of concussions ordered both sides to mediation Monday [July 8].

United States District Court Judge Anita B. Brody, from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, ordered Layn Phillips, a retired federal judge, to serve as mediator in the case...

The league and the lawyers representing more than 4,000 players and their wives will now meet in a conference room instead of a courtroom to try to iron out their differences, which will not be easy given the complexity of the case. "

The article can be read here.

Will mediation help you solve your dispute? It is usually worth a try.

Victoria C. Gilner, Esq.
Director, Air Force Dispute Resolution