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When You Have Disputes, There are Choices!


  • Facilitator helps group identify and solve problems
  • Parties make decision
  • Informal process
  • Parties determine who participates 
  • Agenda and agreements are dependent on the parties

Facilitation is a collaborative way to manage a group discussion to help the group identify and solve problems, make decisions, and complete tasks.

Facilitation encourages a cooperative environment so that the group can fulfill its purpose as easily as possible.

Facilitation creates a climate that invites creative thinking, protects individuals from criticism, and generates ideas so the group can reach its goals.


  • Mediator helps parties explore solutions
  • Parties make decision
  • Informal process
  • Rules of evidence do not apply
  • Often faster and less expensive than litigation
  • Sessions may be confidential
  • Agreements are determined by the parties

Mediation is a process in which the parties to a dispute (and sometimes their lawyers) meet with a trained impartial person, or “mediator,” who helps them explore solutions.

The mediator meets with all sides, together and separately, and uses a variety of techniques to help the parties come to a resolution. The mediator does not decide disputes.


  • Arbitrator makes decisions
  • Less formal process than litigation 
  • Limited discovery
  • Often faster and less expensive than litigation
  • Hearings can be private
  • Decisions may be final (with limited appeal rights)

The arbitration process generally takes the place of a court trial. Instead of going before a judge, disputing parties agree that they will be bound by the decision of an impartial person, or “arbitrator.” The arbitrator listens to opposing parties in a dispute and renders a decision.

Arbitration is private, usually voluntary, and decisions are almost always binding. (Many cases filed in the Hawaii State Judiciary are included in the Court Annexed Arbitration Program [CAAP]. CAAP arbitrations are non-binding.)


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