Welcome to
Early Settlement Mediation!

Please click on the interactive map below
to locate your regional program
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The Alternative Dispute Resolution System in Oklahoma is made up of thirteen (13) regional Early Settlement Mediation Centers (including one (1) municipal program) which provide FREE mediation services all 77 counties in Oklahoma. There are fourteen (14) State Agencies with programs offering specialized mediation services. The Alternative Dispute Resolution System was authorized (1983) and funded (1985) by the state legislature through the Oklahoma Dispute Resolution Act, 12 O.S. Supp. 1997, § 1801 et seq. The Administrative Director of the Courts administers and supervises the Alternative Dispute Resolution System through a designated, State Director, with the ongoing input of the Dispute Resolution Advisory Board.

Alternative Dispute Resolution System
News and Happenings

Phil Johnson and Lauren O’Brien presented at OCU Law about Early Settlement Mediation and externship opportunities. Connie Smotherman was presented a logo pen for her many years of support for Early Settlement Mediation.
NEW Volunteer Family Mediators! Sixteen (16) community volunteers from across Oklahoma attended our summer family mediation training at OU Law in Norman this week. Director of the Courts, Jari Askins, joined the group for lunch on the last day and also spent a few minutes of the training thanking them for their volunteer service to Early Settlement Mediation.
Summer Law Student Interns! Phil Johnson, State Director, recently trained law students, who are working as summer interns at the Oklahoma Judicial Center, in conflict resolution. Communication and negotiation skills are an invaluable tool for future attorneys. Mediators from State Agencies and the Alternative Dispute Resolution System served as coaches. Oklahoma is a national leader in offering mediation services FREE of charge to our courts and communities!
Volunteer Mediator Awards!  The Early Settlement Mediation programs each nominated a 2022 Volunteer Mediator of the Year to be recognized at the recent Volunteer Mediator Conference in Oklahoma City.  The nominees include: (Front Row L to R) Danny DeKinder (West Program), Julia Teska (East Program), Don Bruner (Northwest Program), Claudette Wispe (Central Program), Jennifer White (East Central Program), Ed Sherman (Tulsa Program).  (Back Row L to R) Paul Swigart (State Agency Program), Shelly Aljoe (South Central Program), Tom Lackey (Southeast Program), and Russ Cochran (Oklahoma County Program).  Not Pictured are:  Julie Hopper (Norman Program), George Schwenk (North Program), Glenda Garrison (Northeast Program), Gretchen Kesterson (Southwest Program), and Duncan Middle School (Peer Mediation School of the Year).  Presenting the awards were (Back Row L)  Jari Askins (Director of the Courts), (Back Row Far R) Ted Roberts (Dispute Resolution Advisory Board Chairman), and Justice John Kane IV (Chief Justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court).

Career Tech!  Julie McCormick, Superintendent of Gordon Cooper Career Tech in Shawnee, and Phil Johnson, State Director of the Supreme Court of Oklahoma Alternative Dispute Resolution System, recently met to discuss the FREE statewide Peer Mediation Program for Oklahoma students.  Andrew Aldridge, State Director of the Peer Mediation Program, has been canvassing Oklahoma working with schools on implementing peer mediation.  For more information contact: aaldridge2@uco.edu
Legislative Blitz!  Bailey Smith, OU Law Intern, and Andrew Aldridge, State Director, Peer Mediation Program, recently spent several days canvassing the Oklahoma State Capitol delivering informational packets to legislators.  The packets were filled with information about the nationally recognized Early Settlement Mediation programs around the state and about the Peer Mediation Program located on the campus of the University of Central Oklahoma.  “This is the 3rd year that we have distributed packets to our legislators in hopes that as constituents contact them with conflicts they will be able to refer them to the Early Settlement Program office in the area they serve.  The response from legislators was very positive!  Thank you to Bailey and Andrew for all their hard work,” said Phil Johnson, State Director, Alternative Dispute Resolution System.