Welcome to
Early Settlement Mediation!

Please click on the interactive map below
to locate your regional program
ok-county-map harper woods woodward major dewey blaine kingfisher caddo canadian grady cimarron texas beaver alfalfa grant kay osage washington nowata ellis garfield noble pawnee tulsa roger mills logan payne creek okmulgee beckham custer oklahoma lincoln okfuskee mcintosh harmon greer kiowa washita comanche mcclain cleveland pott. seminole hughes pittsburg haskell jackson tillman cotton stephens garvin pontotoc coal atoka pushmataha latimer jefferson carter murray love marshall johnston bryan choctaw craig ottawa rogers mayes delaware wagoner cherokee adair muskogee sequoyah leflore mccurtain


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

Retirement!  After almost 10 years with the Oklahoma Administrative Office of the Courts, Jari Askins, Administrative Director of the Courts, is retiring at the end of June and a room full of distinguished Oklahomans came to wish her well on the next phase of her life.  Famous Oklahoman Will Rogers probably said it best, “If you want to be successful, it’s just this simple. Know what you are doing. Love what you are doing. And believe in what you are doing.” Jari has served in lots of job roles for the courts and state government during her lifetime, and like Will Rogers said, she loved and believed in the role she filled in each stage.  Thank you Jari for your support of the Early Settlement program. You will be missed!
2023 Volunteer Mediator of the Year! Nancy Mallory, Early Settlement Mediation – Oklahoma County Program was named the Volunteer Mediator of the Year at the Annual Conference last week. Lauren Craig-O’Brien, Associate State Director, presented Nancy the award. In 2023, Nancy mediated 51 basic civil cases and 27 family cases as a volunteer mediator. She gave 170 hours of volunteer time back the Oklahoma County program. Congrats Nancy and thank you for all you do!
Early Settlement Mediation Program Directors! The annual Volunteer Mediator Conference was held recently at Metro Technology Center in Oklahoma City and over 100 volunteer mediators from across the state attended the event. The Early Settlement Program Directors helped host the annual event which includes a full-day of presentations and a FREE luncheon to honor the volunteers mediators. These Directors were instrumental in helping organize the conference as well as making presentations.
Legislative BlitzAndrew Aldridge, State Director, Peer Mediation, Lauren O’Brien, Associate State Director and Program Director for Early Settlement – Oklahoma County, and Phil Johnson, State Director, Alternative Dispute Resolution System handed out informational packets about the Early Settlement Mediation program to legislators this week. The program provides FREE mediation services to all Oklahomans.

Outstanding Service Award! Ameen Behbahani has served in many roles with the Early Settlement Mediation Program over the last several years, starting out as an OCU law student intern, then working with the school-based peer mediation program, and finally as a team leader for the Early Settlement – Oklahoma County program. Ameen is moving to Texas to practice law and in recognition of his outstanding service Oklahoma County Judge Brooke Holman joined Phil Johnson, State ADR Director, in presenting him a certificate.

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!