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Jeanne Charles, Esq

In September 2021, Jeanne Charles was appointed by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. to the Federal Labor Relations Authority Federal Services Impasses Panel (Panel). In this role, she, along with the other Panel members will use various tools of dispute resolution to help federal government agencies and their unions resolve collective bargaining impasse disputes. Ms. Charles resides in Florida. In addition to her role with the federal government, she maintains a multi-state ADR practice including arbitration, mediation and fact-finding predominantly in the areas of workplace disputes. She earned her Juris Doctorate degree from DePaul University College of Law in Chicago and maintains her law license in Illinois. Ms. Charles currently serves as a labor and employment arbitrator on various public and private sector panels including professional sports. She is on the rosters of the American Arbitration Association, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS), and National Mediation Board.

As a Special Magistrate for the Florida Public Employees Relations Commission (PERC) for a number of years, Ms. Charles has helped labor and management organizations resolve bargaining impasse disputes regarding issues such as pay, benefits and safety. She has served as an adjunct professor at Penn State University's School of Labor and Employment Relations where she has taught a graduate course in Human Resources and Employment Relations, as well as the University of Arizona School of Law where she has taught advanced negotiations. Ms. Charles is also an instructor for the Becoming a Labor Arbitrator course offered by the FMCS. Prior to becoming an arbitrator, Ms. Charles practiced as staff counsel for a federal sector labor union in Chicago and in private practice. Prior to becoming an attorney, she had ten years of corporate experience with a Fortune 500 company. In her corporate positions she was certified in Total Quality Management and Problem Solving which served as a foundation for her future career in alternative dispute resolution. Ms. Charles speaks regularly in various venues that include the American Bar Association, American Arbitration Association, FMCS and nation-wide bar association events. She is a Fellow with the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and has been inducted into the National Academy of Arbitrators where she serves on its Board of Governors. To assist with the continuation of proceedings virtually as a result of COVID-19, Ms. Charles was instrumental in helping the labor-management community adapt to virtual hearings by serving as the Chair of the NAA Videoconference Task Force from 2020-2021.

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Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) incorporates a variety of processes that serve as an alternative path to justice and resolution of disputes outside of traditional litigation. The goal of ADR is to be fair, efficient and less expensive than litigation. ADR includes arbitration, mediation, factfinding and med-arb. Arbitrators are private judges selected by the parties in dispute who render final and binding decisions. Mediators guide the parties in reaching an agreement but do not decide the case. Factfinding is typically used when parties reach a negotiation impasse. The factfinder evaluates evidence presented by the parties and reaches conclusions of fact, typically, with recommendations on how to resolve the impasse. In the med-arb process, the neutral tries to help the parties reach agreement but if they cannot, he or she will make a decision that resolves the dispute.

The hallmark of a quality dispute resolution professional is one that is committed to serving the process of ADR with integrity and honor. He or she should demonstrate through education, experience, skill and interest the ability to preside over a process where each parties feels, regardless of outcome, that they were heard. This is justice.