Welcome to
Early Settlement Mediation!

Please click on the interactive map below
to locate your regional program
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Introduction

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

Dispute Resolution Advisory Board!  The Directors of the Early Settlement Mediation southern region programs recently presented their annual reports to the Dispute Resolution Advisory Board.  The board meets the 3rd Friday in February, April, August, November, and in June (only, if necessary) at the Oklahoma Judicial Center.  
Law School Visit! Phil Johnson, State Director, recently had the opportunity to speak to 70 1L students at OCU Law at the invitation of Court of Civil Appeals Judge Barbara Swinton. Former student office worker at the Early Settlement-East Central office in Ada, Jaymin McClarty, was a student in the class.  It’s always great to speak to law students about mediation and Oklahoma’s nationally-recognized Early Settlement program! 
Civil Service Agency Training!  Stacey Foster and Brayden Love with the Civil Service Division hosted a basic civil mediation training in Oklahoma City recently.  Volunteer mediator trainees from various state agencies participated in the 2-day training.  The newly trained volunteer mediators will serve their home agency, the Civil Service Division, and the court-connected Early Settlement Mediation program.  Oklahoma is recognized nationally as having one of the top conflict resolution programs in the nation! 
Oklahoma City Community Court!  Lauren O’Brien, Associate State Director & Director of the Early Settlement Oklahoma County program, and Phil Johnson, State Director of the Alternative Dispute Resolution System, recently observed the OKC Community Court, a diversion court working specifically with the homeless population.  Manny Hernandez and Tracinda Langdale, with the City of Oklahoma City court system, are instrumental in management of this innovative new program.
Early Settlement Mediation staff Marcy Cox, Phil Johnson, Jay Irby and Lauren O’Brien (left to right) are joined by Dispute Resolution Adivsory Board Chair Ted Roberts (center) at the Family Mediation Training in Norman!
Family & Divorce Training! Director of the Courts, Jari Askins, joined our trainees for a group picture at OU Law in Norman January 9-12, 2024. Despite extremely cold temperatures nine (9) NEW family trainees made the journey to Norman to complete the forty (40) hour training which is OBA approved. Director Askins is truly a friend of the program and took time out of her busy schedule to grab lunch with the group. If you are interested in becoming a mediator for the Early Settlement program please reach out to the program director who serves the area you live.
NEW Dispute Resolution Advisory Board Members! Justice Noma Gurich administered the oath of office to Adam Doverspike of Tulsa, who represents the Business Community, and Amanda Choate of Oklahoma City, who represents the Department of Corrections, as the newest members of the Dispute Resolution Advisory Board.
Thanksmas Luncheon! The Early Settlement Directors’ from across the state held their annual Thanksmas luncheon and gift exchange at Toby Keith’s in Bricktown recently. The luncheon is always a fun time of food and fellowship!
Early Settlement President Award! Sarah Head, Director of the Early Settlement – Southwest Program and current Early Settlement Directors’ Association President presented Past-President Jay Irby, Director of Early Settlement – North Program with an acrylic appreciation award for his service.

Welcome NEW Early Settlement Mediation! Northwest Oklahoma Director! Dr. Wayne McMillin, Dean of the Northwestern Oklahoma State University – Enid Campus, Michael Nalley, NEW Early Settlement Mediation – Northwest Oklahoma, Program Director, Lauren O’Brien, Associate State Director and Program Director, Early Settlement – Oklahoma County, and Phil Johnson, State Director, Alternative Dispute Resolution System. He will begin work on Monday, December 4, 2023.

Early Settlement – City of Norman Volunteer Mediator Reception! Mayor Larry Heikkila made certificate presentations and refreshments were served to those in attendance: Front Row (L to R)Phil Johnson, State Director, Alternative Dispute Resolution System, Katy Powers, Lisa Roberts, Bill Scanlon, Maggie Griffith, Mediation Coordinator, Mayor Larry Heikkila, Ronda Guerrero, Court Administrator. Back row (L to R) Julie Hopper, David Gandesbery and Mark Emerson.

Oklahoma Bar Association • ADR Section!  Nationally known speaker Megan Hunter knocked it out of the park with her “High Conflict” presentation at the OBA Conference recently.  Attending from the Oklahoma Supreme Court ADR and state agency programs were, Brayden Love, Civil Service Mediation Coordinator,  Lauren O’Brien, Associate State Director and Director of the Early Settlement-Oklahoma County, and Phil Johnson, State Director, of the court-connected, community-based ADR program. Also, Early Settlement Mediation volunteer, Karren Berry,  and Mike Mayberry, Director of the Ag program, attended the conference.  

Office Tour! Early Settlement Mediation-East Central Program Director, Jorjia Cash gave Administrative Director of the Courts,  Jari Askins,  a tour of the Early Settlement office on the campus of East Central University. Director Askins was on campus to speak to students.  East Central University serves as the sponsor for three (3) Early Settlement programs.

A-Team! (L to R) State Director, Phil Johnson, and the Early Settlement Mediation Directors from Northern and Northeastern Oklahoma, Marcy Cox, Early Settlement – NE, LeiLani Armstrong, Early Settlement – Tulsa, Tim Scott, Statewide Child Permanency Coordinator, Sarah Adams, Early Settlement – East, and Jay Irby, Early Settlement – North, attended the Court Improvement Conference in Tulsa recently.  One of the breakout sessions included a panelist group which included a couple of judges, a district attorney, and child’s attorney who have had great success using mediation to conduct child permanency cases.  

Congrats, G!  Greg Holleyman has been part of the Early Settlement Mediation family for over 25 years, both as a volunteer mediator & on staff.  He’s served as the Child Permanency Coordinator in both Oklahoma & Tulsa counties & as the Program Director of the Early Settlement • North Program based out of Stillwater.  We presented Greg with an award today for his many years of service to the Early Settlement Mediation program & the Supreme Court of Oklahoma.  On behalf of Chief Justice John Kane IV & Director of the Courts Jari Askins, Felice Hamilton, Director, Court Improvement, Tim Scott, Coordinator of Child Permanency Mediation, and Phil Johnson, Statewide Director, Alternative Dispute Resolution System, would like to thank Greg for his dedicated service to the courts & the people of Oklahoma.  
Early Settlement TeamJaxie Johnston, Director, Early Settlement -South Central, Jorjia Cash, Director, Early Settlement -East Central, Tylnn Childress, Director, Early Settlement – Central, Lauren O’Brien, Associate State Director and Director, Early Settlement – Oklahoma County, and Phil Johnson, State Director, Alternative Dispute Resolution System, assisted with the Court Improvement Conference in Norman.